Kure It Cancer Research’s “Legends & Legacy” Gala in Newport Coast Raises $165K

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Steve Craig’s Newport Coast home was the site of the Kure It Cancer Research’s Let’s Save Lives Gala, themed “Legends & Legacy,” held on Friday, Nov. 5.

The event was attended by 150 people and included dinner, a silent auction, a live auction, a Fund-a-Kure segment, and the recognition of two esteemed honorees: Kure It founder and USC supporter, the late Barry Hoeven, and UCLA’s legendary football coach, the late Terry Donahue, who was an integral part of launching Kure It’s Rivals United campaign.

Event sponsors Jim and Marianne Nahin (Marianne is a Kure It board member) / photo credit Ann Chatillon

Guests were treated to a tempting silent auction full of a fantastic selection of wines and spirits, as well as art and overnights at esteemed locations. Approving comments came from guests drinking the pours from Cali Distillery, an American whiskey with a California twist.

Following a delicious sit-down dinner on the lawn, Kure It Board Chair Todd Perry welcomed everyone, acknowledging the board of directors, staff, women’s guild, and the sponsors, in particular, US Storage Centers, Westport Properties, The Nahin Group, Thorofare Capital, Bank of the West and City National Bank.

Perry gave a brief summary about the two men being honored.

“Barry Hoeven started Kure It Cancer Research in 2007 after his own kidney cancer diagnosis. What I admire about Barry is that he saw a need and selflessly took action to help. He knew that the research he was funding likely wouldn’t cure his cancer, but he was interested in leaving a legacy that would help others fighting this terrible disease.”

“Legendary UCLA football coach, Terry Donahue, joined Barry in that fight in 2012 with our Rivals United for a Kure campaign. He didn’t know the personal impact this cause would have on him years later.”

“These men were legends in their lifetime to many people, and their legacies live on through all of us here tonight,” added Perry.

Gala guests Kassadnra and Greg Richardson of Newport Beach / photo credit Ann Chatillon

Perry explained how Kure It funds grants in the $50,000 to $250,000 range to start seed money that will help get an innovative idea off the ground in hopes that larger funding can be secured to take the research to the next level.

Towards that end, Perry introduced Dr. Martin Kast from USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, who spoke about how the $75,000 grant from Kure It has helped explore a way to solve the problem of cervical cancer and throat cancer tumors with a protein called Light inside the tumors. A clinical trial is in the works and a biotech company has committed to do that after FDA approval.

“Thank you, Kure It, you have lit the path for a cure,” Kast expressed.

“Since Barry had the vision of Kure It, we have raised nearly $12 million for cancer research,” Perry said, “supporting 47 projects at 16 cancer centers across the US and abroad.”

UCLA alum Cristina Walters, founder and head coach of A League of Her Own, as well as talk radio show and podcast host, had fun sparring with USC grad and retired NFL quarterback Paul McDonald on who has the best football record.

Andrea Donahue and Kure It board member Paul McDonald / photo by Ann Chatillon

McDonald, a Kure It board member, then asked Newport Beach resident Andrea Donahue, widow of Terry Donahue, to the stage, where he announced that Kure It was honoring Terry by establishing the Terry Donahue Memorial Cancer Research Grant, awarded to Dr. Mustafa Raoof at City of Hope for his work on Appendiceal Cancer.  Andrea was clearly touched by the honor in her late husband’s name.

Auctioneer Mike Shumard conducted the live auction, which saw the Cabo Escape go to Newport Beach residents Diana & Mike Rapport and a Hawaii Island Hopper go to Brittany Barkley, also of Newport. Keith Strohl won the Rivals Cup Weekender golf tournament with a stay at Pelican Hill Resort and the use of an Aston Martin, while his son Andrew Strohl won the “bid drop” prize of a $500 gift card to Mastro’s Ocean Club.

The generous crowd help boost net proceeds in the Fund-A-Kure to an over-all amount of more than $165,000.

Sponsors Jon and Cyndee Ely of Newport Beach / photo by Ann Chatillon

About Kure It Cancer Research: Kure It, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing funding for translational research projects focused on kidney cancer and other underfunded cancers. The funds raised through Kure It directly support groundbreaking research at leading cancer centers.

Founded by Barry Hoeven in 2007 after his diagnosis with kidney cancer, Kure It expanded to support all underfunded cancers when the vast disconnect between the number of people afflicted with cancer and the amount of funding available for research became apparent.

To date, Kure It has raised nearly $12 million for cancer research and holds strong to the belief, “Together We Can Eradicate Cancer.” Visit www.KureIt.org.

Guests Kristen and Tom Minasian of Newport Beach / photo by Ann Chatillon
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