Nearly 900 guests, including community partners, benefactors and physicians, raised $1 million for Cancer LifeNet at The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation’s Starnight Gala on October 1 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel.
The 2016 Starnight Gala was the most successful in its 10-year history.
Chaired by leadership volunteer Orsia Young and vice chairs, Jayne Klein and Janie Kilby, this biennial black-tie event celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Cancer LifeNet at the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center in Bel Air.
Founded in 2006, Cancer LifeNet is a nurse navigation and supportive care program offering free-of-charge services to any resident of Harford, Cecil or Northern Baltimore counties with a cancer diagnosis. It provides care for mind, body and spirit of individuals and their loved ones in the fight against cancer. Since its inception, more than 10,000 cancer patients and their family members have benefitted from support services provided by Cancer LifeNet.
“Cancer LifeNet was our lifesaver. The team of professionals answered every question we had, helped us navigate the health care system and provided counseling, educational programs and support groups,” explained Dana Saulsbury of Jarrettsville Nurseries. Dana and her late husband, Boyd, inspired the early fundraising success for this year’s Starnight Gala. “Cancer LifeNet gave us strength and comfort at a time when it was needed most,” she added.
Cancer LifeNet is funded fully through philanthropic support of The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation and its Chesapeake Cancer Alliance volunteers.
Two special tributes were held at this year’s Starnight Gala. The first was in memory of the late Shirley Klein, the first chairperson to lead The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation.
The second was an inaugural award presented to Katherine (Kitty) Endslow Pickett, a Bel Air native and visionary founder of the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance, by Lyle Sheldon, president/CEO of University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health. The award, named the Katherine (Kitty) Endslow Pickett Cura Personalis Award, will be presented each year to a caregiver at the Kaufman Cancer Center who exemplifies Pickett’s vision, leadership and steadfast care of individuals diagnosed with cancer.
Albert J.A. Young, board chairman of The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation, said, “The generosity of our community never ceases to amaze me. This is neighbors helping neighbors. When you hear those three words, ‘you have cancer,’ thanks to philanthropy, there is a world-class program in Harford County to help you through your journey.”
Every gift raised through Starnight and The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation’s ongoing fundraising efforts supporting Cancer LifeNet make a significant difference in the lives of cancer patients and their loved ones.
For more information about Cancer LifeNet, visit umuch.org or call 866-393-4355. For more information about The Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation and its Chesapeake Cancer Alliance volunteers, visit uchfoundation.org or call 443-643-3460.