Every day, more than 4,600 people are diagnosed with cancer. On Saturday, November 12, 2016, the Women’s Board of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation (UCCRF) celebrated its 50th Annual Grand Auction at the Four Seasons Hotel. This milestone gala brought together 600 of Chicago’s influential civic and business leaders and successfully raised over $2.5 million dollars—a record breaking amount—for innovative cancer research at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. The event was co-chaired by Women’s Board president Kristi Nuelle and members Barbara Sessions and Cynthia Chereskin.

This year’s gala was unlike any other in that it featured an exclusive live musical performance by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles during the dinner portion of the evening. The evening kicked off with cocktails and conversation, followed by a beautiful video on the impact of cancer that our 2016 Partner in Discovery Award recipient, Ogilvy & Mather, created exclusively for the event. The Partner in Discovery Award was established in 2003 by the UCCRF Women’s Board and honors corporations, foundations and individuals who have taken an extraordinary leadership position in supporting cancer research. Previous recipients have included Cartier, Katie Couric, Janet D. Rowley, MD, and Ralph Lauren, among others. The video Ogilvy & Mather produced touchingly reminded every guest that we really don’t have another day to lose in the fight against finding a cure for cancer. Before attendees took to the disco dance floor, they joined forces bidding on silent and live auction items and ended the evening with an historic paddle raise, yielding $436,000 for cancer research in mere minutes.

The Women’s Board has been a key philanthropic supporter of the most innovative ideas and individuals in cancer research for the past 50 years and looks forward to being a part of the groundbreaking developments and breakthrough ideas that will continue to take place every day at the University of Chicago. What will the next 50 years look like?