Spirit of Hope Award
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is grateful for the visionary approach and solid commitment demonstrated by the nine members of the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Executive Leadership Council, who we will honor at our 2009 An Evening with the Stars gala with the Spirit of Hope Award. We admire each councilmember's commitment and dedication to fighting pancreatic cancer and ultimately supporting our own mission to advance research, support patients and create hope for everyone touched by the disease.
SU2C is the Entertainment Industry Foundation's (EIF) charitable initiative formed to support groundbreaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe. The group awarded $73.6 million to five multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research Dream Teams that will focus on investigating specific types of cancer. One of the five teams is committed to furthering research into pancreatic cancer.
Recently, SU2C donated $18 million to the Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team which will lead a three-year investigation into new approaches for treating the disease. The team is led by Daniel Von Hoff, M.D., Director of the Clinical Translational Research Division and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona Department of Medicine, and Craig B. Thompson, M.D., Director of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
The goal of the Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team's research project, named "Cutting Off the Fuel Supply, is to develop tests, using advanced imaging techniques, to determine what nutrients pancreatic cancer cells require to fuel their growth and survival. Understanding the cell's fuel supply will help scientists develop more individualized treatments for the disease that will have fewer side effects.
The members of the Stand Up to Cancer Executive Leadership Council are:
The 1998 death of Katie Couric's husband, Jay Monahan, spurred her to become an advocate, and she co-founded the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) with the EIF eight years ago. The televised broadcast of Katie's colonoscopy led to a 20 percent rise in these procedures, which researchers dubbed The Couric Effect. From 2003 through 2005, the colon cancer death rate fell almost 10 percent. NCCRA fundraising efforts led by Katie have generated more than $30 million. Scientists conducting cutting-edge research have made significant advances because of NCCRA grants, and some of these funds helped launch the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health in New York, a world-class, multidisciplinary cancer and wellness center. Katie is also working with the University of Virginia to establish the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, named for her sister, who died of pancreatic cancer.
Noreen Fraser founded the Noreen Fraser Foundation in 2006 with her husband Woody Fraser. She was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in 2001. She was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in 2004 and created the Foundation in hopes of using her television producing skills to find a cure. As a producer, Noreen's television career includes producing: Paramount's syndicated program, Entertainment Tonight; ABC network's The Home Show; Family Channel's Home and Family; and the Emmy Award winning Richard Simmons Show. Noreen volunteers her time to produce informational videos for non-profit charities.
Sherry Lansing is the founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation, which focuses on cancer research, health and education. In addition, she serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the underlying 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for SU2C. In 2005, Ms. Lansing stepped down after 12 years as Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures to focus full time on philanthropy. She serves on the boards of Friends of Cancer Research, The Lasker Foundation, Rand Health, and Stop Cancer. She is also a Regent of the University of California and a board member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Sherry lost her mother to ovarian cancer
Kathleen Lobb runs the Entertainment Industry Foundation's New York office, as well as the EIF's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance staff team, which works with corporate supporters, government partners, and the colon cancer advocacy community on programs designed to encourage screening. EIF's NCCRA team coordinates volunteer celebrity involvement in awareness campaigns, and liaises with and convenes the scientists the foundation supports at nine leading institutions. Through her cancer advocacy work, Lobb honors the memory of two close friends taken by the disease in the prime of their lives.
Lisa Paulsen is President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF). In the cancer arena, under Lisa's leadership, EIF has raised significant funding for research, education, prevention and treatment programs. Lisa streamlined the grant-making process to focus resources where they are needed most urgently, working closely with world-class researchers to support breakthroughs such as the breast cancer therapy Herceptin®. Funding came primarily from EIF's Revlon Run/Walk for Women. EIF also launched the Women's Cancer Research Fund (EIF's WCRF) with significant leadership from across the entertainment industry. Lisa recently lost both her parents to cancer. In their honor, Lisa led the creation, in their home town of Terre Haute, Indiana, of the Coleman Cancer Center, a TORI network site of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Named as one of the Top 100 Marketers by Advertising Age magazine, and as one of the most entrepreneurial women in the United States, Rusty Robertson is a founding partner in RSA and the founder of RPR & Associates, which was featured in Success magazine as one of America's Super 8 companies. Rusty is also a literary agent and award winning brand marketer, branding hundreds of major corporations and generating over $500 million for her clients and their companies. She helped create the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, and was instrumental in the launch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation with Nancy Brinker. Rusty lost her mother to lung cancer.
A founding partner in RSA, a hybrid marketing and branding company that combines the power of celebrity, strong public relations, the stealth marketing of the internet with the massive exposure created through traditional media, live home shopping, direct to consumer, and brick and mortar retail. Sue was named one of the most innovative people in America by Response Magazine. Prior to founding RSA, Sue held Senior and Executive Vice President positions at Revlon, Almay Cosmetics, and HSN, generating over $1 billion dollars in business for the company and her clients. Sue lost her mother to multiple myeloma, has a sister who is both a breast and ovarian cancer survivor and another sister who is a breast cancer survivor.
The former Vice President of Corporate Communications for International Creative Management, Ellen also co-founded Rob Reiner's I Am Your Child Foundation in 1994 and helped build it from the ground up. In 2005 she began working as a marketing consultant for the Skoll Foundation, which invests in, connects, and celebrates social entrepreneurs around the world. Recently Ellen became a partner in the Global Philanthropy Group, working with high net worth individuals, charitable foundations and corporations to design and implement highly-leveraged philanthropic strategies. Ellen's mother is a lymphoma survivor.
Laura Ziskin executive produced the September 5, 2008 Stand Up To Cancer broadcast, and has been a motion picture and television producer and sometime executive for 25 years. Her film credits include What About Bob?; The Doctor; No Way Out; Pretty Woman; To Die For and the Spider-Man trilogy. As the founding President of Fox 2000, she shepherded such films as The Thin Red Line, Fight Club, Soul Food, and Courage Under Fire. She produced the 74th and 79th Academy Awards. Like one in three women in this country, Laura was diagnosed with cancer (Stage 3 Breast Cancer in 2004). As a cancer survivor she is determined to use all her resources to make cancer a first-tier issue in this country.
Shining Star Award
We are also pleased to honor award-winning actress Dana Delany with the Shining Star Award in recognition of her role as a Celebrity Ambassador with Stand Up to Cancer and her other charitable works. Since the mid-1990's, Delany has served on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation.
Dana, whose father passed from pancreatic cancer in 1981, currently appears as Katherine Mayfair on the ABC-TV hit series, Desperate Housewives. She made her mark as Army nurse Colleen McMurphy on ABC-TV's critically acclaimed series China Beach, for which she received two Emmy Awards and four nominations for Best Dramatic Actress.
Following her graduation from Wesleyan University, Dana, a Stamford, Connecticut native, went to New York where she honed her skills in daytime television and theatre. She starred on Broadway in A Life and received critical acclaim in a number of off-Broadway productions including Nicholas Kazan's Blood Moon which led to her arrival in Los Angeles for the west coast production of the controversial drama. Opting to stay in Los Angeles after the run of the play, Dana was soon cast in many popular television shows including Moonlighting, and Magnum, P.I.
Dana has appeared in numerous films including Tombstone, Housesitter, Fly Away Home, Exit to Eden, Light Sleeper, Moon Over Parador, Masquerade, Patty Hearst, Where the River Runs Black, and Almost You. In 2008, she will be seen in the independent films, Route 30, Multiple Sarcasms and Camp Hope.
Television mini-series include Shake, Rattle & Roll, True Women, and Wild Palms. Some of the movies for television in which Dana has starred include Resurrection and The Patron Saint of Liars, both directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, For Hope, in which she played a woman suffering from Scleroderma, directed by Bob Saget, Lifetime's Choices of the Heart: The Margaret Sanger Story, Showtime's Sirens, Rescuers: Stories of Courage, and Conviction with Omar Epps, and The Right Temptation for HBO. Dana produced and starred in the ABC telefilm Final Jeopardy based on New York sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein's novel.
More recent television series credits include CBS's Presidio Med, Fox's Pasadena, and NBC's Kidnapped opposite Timothy Hutton. Episodic work includes Family Law, for which she received an Emmy Award nomination for outstanding guest actress in a drama series.
Dana's theatre credits include Translations, Much Ado About Nothing, opposite Billy Campbell at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and the Pulitzer prize-winning play Dinner With Friends, alternating roles in New York, Los Angeles and Boston. Last year she appeared in Neil Labute's Things We Said Today at the EST marathon in New York.
Since 1996 Dana has provided voice-over work as Lois Lane on the WB's animated series Superman, The Batman/Superman Adventures, Justice League, and most recently The Batman.
Emily Couric Public Service Award
We will present the Emily Couric Public Service Award to our third honoree, renowned New York area philanthropist Betsy Hilfiger, who serves as Director of Community Affairs for the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, Inc.
One of nine children, Betsy became acquainted with the retail business by working for her brother, fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger, while she was still in high school. However, she was soon drawn to a helping profession.
After graduating with a nursing degree from the Arnot Ogden Hospital School of Nursing in her hometown of Elmira, New York, she worked in clinical nursing as a registered nurse for eight years. She then changed professions and enjoyed a successful career in pharmaceutical sales. Later returning to the world of fashion, she became the owner and operator of a Tommy Hilfiger retail store in Elmira. During these years, she also was involved with many causes and organizations surrounding women and children, which are still close to her heart today.
Her life changed again in 2003, when she relocated to New York City and assumed her current role with the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation. In the position, she inspires high school and college students to follow their aspirations and also works closely with new company employees and interns. In addition, Betsy works tirelessly on numerous community events helping homeless shelters, food kitchens and other operations serving the underprivileged in the Northeast's Tri-State Region, which includes the populated areas in the states of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Betsy also is a strong advocate for furthering both diabetes and pancreatic cancer research, as both diseases have touched her own life. Her story is quite unusual: In 2006, she underwent a pancreatectomy and instantly became a person with diabetes.
Betsy's initial diagnosis came about almost by accident. As she was preparing for minor varicose vein surgery, blood tests detected abnormalities with her liver. She was diagnosed with a pancreatic condition known as intraductal papillary mucous cysts; four different surgeons advised her to undergo a total pancreatectomy immediately. Although she had experienced no symptoms, Betsy was informed she would eventually have developed pancreatic cancer if the surgery was not performed. Since the operation, Betsy has become a spokesperson for diabetes, as well as a strong supporter of patients undergoing this particular type of pancreatic surgery.
Because of her life-altering experience, Betsy is now involved with Junior Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), STAND (Start Taking Action Now for Diabetes), TCOYD (Taking Care of Your Diabetes) and the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center in New York City.
Betsy has two sons. Her oldest, Mike, is a singer/songwriter in the New York area. His brother, Joe, who works for Harley Davidson, lives with his wife, Shannon Rusbuldt, in the New York area as well.