WASHINGTON – The 26th Annual Lombardi Gala, a celebration benefiting Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, will take place Saturday, November 3 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Washington Hilton.
The black-tie dinner and dance features a cocktail reception and renowned silent auction, a raffle for a 2013 Lexus and the presentation of awards to remarkable individuals for their contributions to the fight against cancer. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Gala go directly to Georgetown Lombardi for cancer research, education and treatment. In the past 26 years, nearly $20 million has been raised for research at Georgetown.
This year’s honorees include Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots, who will receive the inaugural NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award, and Barbara Schaefer McDuffie, who will receive the Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award.
The NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award was established to honor a leader in the sports industry whose life and family have been touched by cancer, and who encourages cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy. The collaboration between the NFL Players Association and Georgetown Lombardi has grown in the past few years, in part out of a shared connection to the legacy of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi, who was treated for cancer at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital before succumbing to the disease in 1970. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is named in Coach Lombardi’s memory.
The inaugural award reflects this growing bridge between the NFL Players Association and Georgetown Lombardi and a joint commitment to honoring the spirit of philanthropy. In 2011, Kraft’s wife of 48 years, Myra, died of ovarian cancer.
“Like many of us in the NFL community, Mr. Kraft has been personally affected by cancer,” says DeMaurice F. Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association and honorary chair of the Lombardi Gala for the third year. “Despite his loss, Mr. Kraft has continued to be a leader on cancer awareness, research and treatment. We are thrilled to honor his achievements and dedication to fighting cancer on this special night.”
Over the past four decades, the Kraft family has become known as one of New England's most philanthropic families, donating more than $100 million in support of local charities and civic affairs.
“Mr. Kraft is widely recognized as one of the most successful owners in professional sports, but he’s also a champion off the field,” says Georgetown Lombardi Director Louis M. Weiner, M.D. “We honor Kraft for his vision to recognize the need for generous community support for cancer research if we are to defeat this devastating set of diseases.”
The Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award is named in honor of the Gala’s founder. The award is presented to an outstanding volunteer who has demonstrated sustained commitment to Georgetown Lombardi. The 2012 award will be presented to Barbara Schaefer McDuffie by Hodges’ children, Laurie Hodges Lapeyre and Walter Hodges, M.D.
“Barbara has worked tirelessly, both personally and professionally, on behalf of Georgetown Lombardi,” said Weiner. “We are extremely grateful for her generous philanthropy and dedication of time that she has given us.”
McDuffie’s passion to fight cancer is a personal one. In the 1980s, she lost both her parents to cancer, a loss that inspired her motivation to advocate for cancer research and awareness.
McDuffie’s connection to Georgetown Lombardi has spanned nearly a decade. In 2005, she started Women and Wine. Since its inception, McDuffie has created a network of caring women who support Georgetown Lombardi’s efforts to eradicate breast cancer. The inaugural Women and Wine in 2006 had 100 women in attendance and raised $22,000. In 2012, McDuffie and her co-chair Janet Davis led the committee to recruit 350 attendees and raised more than $125,000.
In addition to her work with Women and Wine, McDuffie serves as co-chair of the Lombardi Gala Corporate Executive Committee, a role she’s served since 2007. McDuffie is director of business development and marketing for Baker Tilly, an accounting and consulting firm that has also supported Georgetown Lombardi.
The 26th Annual Lombardi Gala is possible thanks to countless volunteers, many of whom have taken a leadership role in planning this annual event. In addition to honorary chair DeMaurice Smith, the Gala co-chairs are Brian Katz, Jill Kirkpatrick and Paul Schweitzer. Besides McDuffie of Baker Tilly, corporate co-chairs include Mark O. Decker of BMO Capital Markets.
Corporate partners for the 2012 Lombardi Gala include the Washington Area Lexus Dealers, DIAGEO, Washington Business Journal and premier philanthropists Etihad Airways, Gibson Dunn, MedStar Health, NFL Players Association and the Potter family grandchildren.
About Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Georgetown Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu.
About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical Translation and Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. In fiscal year 2010-11, GUMC accounted for 85 percent of the university’s sponsored research funding.