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May 11, 2006

Hillman Cancer Center benefit raises $8.2 million

At last week’s annual gala benefiting the Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh community leaders, Broadway performers and celebrities celebrated with more than 1,000 supporters, raising $8.2 million in sponsorships and contributions for patient care and cancer research.

That total included $2 million from the Arnold D. Palmer Charitable Trust for a new initiative in cancer prevention; $1 million from Tom and Sandra Usher to support melanoma research; $1 million from the Hillman Foundations to fund innovative cancer research, and $1 million in an unrestricted grant from the PNC Financial Services Group.

The funds made the annual gala, “Seasons of Hope…A Future Without Cancer,” the largest and most successful ever for the Hillman Cancer Center.

The May 4 fundraising event was hosted by honorary celebrity chair, Arnold Palmer, and honorary chairs Elsie and Henry Hillman, and featured Broadway performer Liza Minnelli. Highlights of the evening included aerial acrobatic artists and entertainment that mirrored the four seasons, signifying hope for cancer patients now and in the future.

Other long-time contributors to the Hillman Cancer Center who joined Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and UPMC President Jeffrey Romoff in supporting the event were University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Council chairman Sy Holzer of PNC Financial Services Group, and general chairs of the event Sharon and Jim Rohr and Sandra and Tom Usher.

Dan Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers acted as the Pittsburgh-Ireland ambassador for the event, leading the effort to highlight UPMC Cancer Centers’ first international cancer facility under construction in Ireland.

The event was held at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex.

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