$2.5 million raised at inaugural Goodman Cancer Research Gala

From left to right: Dean Richard I Levin, Jane Levin, Dr. Phil Gold, Evelyn Gold, Morris and Rosalind Goodman, Principal Heather Munroe-Blum and husband Len Blum, and Dr. Michel Tremblay and wife Noreko Uetani. / Photo: PBL photography

By McGill Reporter Staff

The inaugural Goodman Cancer Research Gala, in support of the Rosalind and Morris Goodman Cancer Research Centre (GCRC), took place under a giant tent on McGill University’s lower campus on Saturday, June 5, 2010. The event brought together more than 700 guests and raised over $2.5 million in support of the GCRC and its pivotal role in unraveling the mysteries of cancer and translating discoveries into better patient care.

Of the funds raised, Rosalind and Morris Goodman donated $100,000 for seed money to help young scientists continue their research. A $500,000 pledge from Dr. Victor Lui, a retired pediatrician living in Hong Kong, will go to support graduate student fellowships in cancer research and the newly established Victor K.S. Lui Oncology Research Fund to advance the study of cancerous tumors. A gift of $240,000 from the CURE Foundation for Breast Cancer will fund a fellowship and research awards in breast cancer research and The Cedars Cancer Institute has pledged $240,000 to support a graduate student fellowship at the GCRC in partnership with the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). In addition, a $700,000 trust, to support doctoral or post-doctoral molecular oncology research in perpetuity, was established by the late Dr. Michael D’Avirro.

Gala Honoree Dr. Phil Gold and Rosalind Goodman. / Photo: PBL photography

Between courses and musical interludes, Dr. Richard I. Levin, Dean of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and VP (Health Affairs), made a special presentation to honour Dr. Phil Gold, a trailblazing researcher in the fight against cancer who, in 1965, discovered the carcinoembryonic antigen, a breakthrough that resulted in a blood test used to diagnose and treat cancer more effectively than ever before. Dr. Gold went on to found the GCRC’s precursor, the McGill Cancer Centre, as part of a remarkable career that was documented in a tribute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rPptuy6-I8 .

Gala guests included The Hon. Irwin Cotler; Senator Michael Meighen, QC and his wife Kelly; Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services Yves Bolduc and wife Chantal Trépanier; Quebec MNA Lawrence Bergman; McGill Chancellor Arnold Steinberg and his wife Professor Emeritus Blema Steinberg; McGill Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum and husband Len Blum; Dean of McGill’s Faculty of Medicine Dr. Richard I. Levin and his wife Jane; VP of Development and Alumni Relations Marc Weinstein and his wife Dany Meloul; Director of the GCRC Dr. Michel Tremblay and his wife Noriko Uetani; Gala Honoree Dr. Phil Gold and his wife Evelyn; Honorary Chair Dr. Marla Shapiro and husband David Berger; Gala Hosts Rosalind and Morris Goodman and their family including Jonathan Goodman and Dana Caplan-Goodman, David Goodman and Mia Melmed-Goodman, Shawna Goodman-Sone and Todd Sone, and Debbie and Gerald Davis; Gala Chair Penny Echenberg and husband Gordon; Gala Dinner Chair Bernard Shapiro, OC, GOQ, and wife Lois; Gala Fundraising Chair Marvin Corber, CM, and his wife Harriet; Master of Ceremonies Derek Drummond and his wife Anne; renowned jazz vocalist Carol Welsman; (Interim) Dean of the Schulich School of Music Gordon Foote; Executive Director of the Cedars Cancer Institute Dr. Jeff Shamie; Cedars Cancer Institute Board Director Gwen Nacos and her husband Tom; Founder of the CURE Foundation Diane Proulx Guerrera and her husband Sal Guerrera; Sheila Kussner, OC, OQ, and her husband Marvyn; and Mildred Lande, CM.

The Gala was the brainchild of Rosalind Goodman, a McGill graduate and cancer survivor who, along with her husband Morris, made a transformative gift to McGill’s Faculty of Medicine in 2008 to reenergize cancer research at the University.