Supporters of the WVU Cancer Institute celebrated the facility's history of excellence in cancer treatment, prevention and research during the 31st annual Spring Gala April 22-24 at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs.
The event, was themed “A Weekend Among the Stars,” it featured a variety of educational and cultural events, unique entertainment and Mountaineer football action. Dr. William Petros, interim director of the WVU Cancer Institute and Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, updated Gala attendees on exciting new endeavors that will strengthen the Institute and enhance the quality of life for patients, their loved ones and all West Virginians.
“Through the generosity of our loyal supporters and friends, WVU faculty and staff have achieved much in 30-plus years of work,” Dr. Petros said. “In looking to the future, we want to build on those accomplishments and create a culture of hope and wellness for a healthier state and become a healthcare leader for the nation. Partnerships within a network of cancer affiliates located across West Virginia and the surrounding area will be key to elevating optimal cancer care to a higher level.”
Cancer Prevention and Control at the WVU Cancer Institute kicked off Friday’s schedule of events with a continuing education session aimed at enlightening Gala attendees and healthcare professionals on the mission of reducing the impact of cancer in West Virginia. Cancer specialists, experts and educators addressed a range of topics focused on cancer risk factors and preventive vaccines, inherited cancer risks and genetic screening and precision nutrition.
Bonnie’s Bus, WVU’s mobile digital mammography unit, was available for tours. The bus has provided breast cancer screening services for more than 10,000 underserved women throughout West Virginia since 2009.
Thanks to the Cancer Institute’s continued partnership with the Mountaineer Athletic Club and WVU Athletics, there were plenty of outdoor recreation with WVU’s shooting stars – Golf Coach Sean Covich and Rifle Coach Jon Hammond – who hosted clinics specifically for Gala attendees hoping to improve their golf swing and become a better marksman.
A “galaxy of stars from Almost Heaven” on Friday evening, featuring a Mountain State-themed Boots & Bowties reception and dine-around dinner. WVU Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins introduced Grammy Award-winning country recording artist Kathy Mattea, who provided a musical performance and a tribute, followed by The Davisson Brothers dance band from North Central West Virginia.
Saturday’s events included a “Chalk Talk” session including Cancer Institute leaders Dr. Petros and Dr. Hannah Hazard, director of clinical services, along with WVU Football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and WVU Basketball Head Coach Bob Huggins.
Mountaineer fans attending the Gala had a birdseye view of the WVU football team at The Greenbrier’s AdvoCare Sports Performance Center during the annual Gold-Blue Spring football game.
Some additional Saturday afternoon activities included:
- Corks and Canvases – an opportunity to paint a Greenbrier-themed masterpiece with the assistance of The Greenbrier’s art instructor
- “Soul Food Love” – a healthy eating culinary demonstration with Caroline Randall Williams, an author, poet and a visiting professor at WVU
- Champagne, Chocolates and Custom Jewelry – an activity featuring Joan Stamp, a longtime Cancer Institute supporter, who will exhibit and sell her one-of-a-kind custom-made jewelry.
Saturday’s Gala festivities culminated with “An Evening Among the Stars” black tie dinner dance featuring the Benny Benack orchestra.
For questions about the Gala, please contact the WVU Cancer Institute Office of Philanthropy at 304-293-4597
For information about The Greenbrier Resort, see www.greenbrier.com