Inaugural Blue Hope Bash Indianapolis raises $230,000
Press Release

Inaugural Blue Hope Bash Indianapolis Takes On Colorectal Cancer

Inaugural Blue Hope Bash Indianapolis raises $230,000

Race car driver John Andretti and American fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo to speak at charity event benefiting national nonprofit

Indianapolis, Indiana (May 4, 2018) — The Blue Hope Bash Indianapolis will bring together celebrities, survivors and allies touched by colorectal cancer Saturday evening at The Alexander. The formal gala is expected to raise $200,000 for national nonprofit Colorectal Cancer Alliance, which seeks to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime.

“We believe colorectal cancer is a senseless killer that must be stopped, and that is why we’re focused on empowering a nation of allies, like the fierce advocates in Indianapolis behind this first Blue Hope Bash in the state,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Alliance. “Funds raised here will go toward critical research, prevention efforts and patient and family support.”  

The Bash stems from painful first-hand experiences with colorectal cancer, the second-leading cancer killer in the United States. Two of the co-chairs, Clay Scheetz and Kellee Clevenger, lost their mothers to the disease. Two speakers and planning committee members, Tess Deeter and Julie Knox Thornton, lost their husbands, who were in their early 40s. This event honors those losses while advocating for a world free of colorectal cancer.

“The death of these four amazing and selfless human beings, who lost their lives too soon, inspired this event and our ongoing commitment to ending this disease,” Scheetz said. “Our guests, our community, and all who work against colorectal cancer are indispensable allies in this mission, and we’re incredibly humbled by their support.”

The inaugural Bash comes during a rise in young-onset colorectal cancer nationwide and in a state with relatively low screening rates. Cases of young-onset colorectal cancer, impacting adults under 50, have increased about 2 percent each year since 2001. Indiana ranks 42nd out of 50 U.S. states in colorectal cancer screening. The disease is highly treatable if screening catches it at an early stage.

Hosted by national touring comedian Scott Long, the Bash will include remarks from race car driver John Andretti and American fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo, both of whom have battled colorectal cancer. Andretti is the guest of honor and recipient of the Blue Hope Bash Founders’ Award.

Colorectal cancer is expected to take the lives of 1,110 Hoosiers and 50,630 people nationwide this year alone, according to the American Cancer Society.

For more information or to donate, please contact


About the Colorectal Cancer Alliance

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with our nation of passionate allies, we diligently support the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors, eagerly raise awareness of preventative screening, and continually strive to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, we are fiercely determined to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime. For more information, visit

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