Press Release

In This Together To Raise $1.5 million Colon Cancer Alliance’s Annual Gala Exceeds Fundraising Goal For Critical Patient Programs

National non-profit the Colon Cancer Alliance hosted its Annual Blue Hope Bash on Thursday, October 19th at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

The Blue Hope Bash, in its 7th year, is the premiere fundraising gala of the Colon Cancer Alliance that brings together both individuals and corporations that are passionate about supporting our mission to end colon cancer within our lifetime. Since the event’s inception in 2010, the event has raised more than $5 million. This year’s sold out event brought together over 600 attendees and raised a record-breaking $1.5 million support their mission and strategic plan: to invest $10 million in research, save 100,000 lives through increased screening and double the number of patients and families the Colon Cancer Alliance serves.

The theme this year was “In This Together” in which NBC’s Weekend "Today Show” Co-Anchor Craig Melvin carried the theme in emceeing the event and sharing his own connection with the disease when his brother Lawrence, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer at age 39. Craig’s brother Lawrence was in attendance at the Bash.

“Seeing and hearing the stories of so many who’ve beaten this dreadful disease was awe-inspiring for me and my brother,” said Craig Melvin. “Raising money and awareness was the goal, but it sure was a lot of fun too. I was honored to be a part of an evening filled with so much hope and love.”

"We are beyond thrilled at the impact of the Blue Hope Bash only in it's 7th year,” said CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance Michael Sapienza. “This will offer Colon Cancer Alliance the opportunity to head into 2018 focused on research, patients, and their families, and preventing this disease before it starts.”

The evening also announced the launch of the Michelle Benaim Memorial Fund. Michelle and her husband Avi were the Co-Chairs of the Blue Hope Bash. Michelle Benaim was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2015 at age 47. Michelle unfortunately passed away on September 30th at the age of 49. The Michelle Benaim Memorial Fund will be used to increase screening for the under-50 population and provide assistance to underserved populations who are impacted by colorectal cancer.

Other evening highlights included awarding the Erica & Michael Paul Memorial Award to Lyn Ferriero for her infectious drive, selfless dedication and generous service to the Colon Cancer Alliance, as well a drawing one lucky winner to win a custom 2018 Porsche Boxster. The winner of the custom 2018 Porsche Boxster was Stu and Susan Lisabeth from New York.

The Colon Cancer Alliance would like to thank their top tier sponsors Mike & Amy Aquilino and Jay & Lyn Ferriero for their generous support of the Blue Hope Bash.

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