Washington, DC (March 13, 2010) – Last night, the 24th annual Leukemia Ball was held at the Washington Convention Center. Just about 2,500 D.C. business leaders were entertained by bona-fide living legend Diana Ross.
She received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her 1972 role as Billie Holliday in Lady Sings the Blues, was named “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard Magazine in 1976 and accepted a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Award in December, 2007 – among a multitude of additional honors.
The Ball also hosted a performance by actor and comedian John Heffron, winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
The winner of the second season of NBC’s hit reality series “Last Comic Standing,” comedian John Heffron has become a comic to watch and love. The Detroit funnyman, who Phyllis Diller referred to as “the cute one,” won a talent contract with NBC as well as other great opportunities. When asked about his experience on the show, John said, “It’s a lot like high school … there are good and bad memories, in the end, I think I will only remember the good ones.”
The Ball, long known as Washington, D.C.’s largest one-night non-political black-tie gala, is expected to raise more than $3M on behalf of The National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“Thanks to the unwavering dedication of D.C.-area business leaders and volunteers, the Leukemia Ball has generated more than $40M since its inception in 1988,” said Donna McKelvey, Executive Director of The National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). “We are enormously grateful to those who make our work possible, from funding blood cancer research, to providing local educational programs – and ultimately, helping to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”
Seventy-five percent of the funds spent go directly to research, patient and community services, advocacy and education. Continued funding of cutting-edge science has contributed to an unprecedented rise in survival rates for some blood cancers.
The Leukemia Ball is long recognized as one of Washington’s most popular black-tie galas. The silent auction, which raised $310,000 in 2010, is one of the area’s largest, featuring a variety travel packages, including American Airlines air travel to exotic locations. The event also boasts a Mercedes-Benz raffle featuring two brand new vehicles donated by local Mercedes-Benz dealers. Tickets are $100 and only 6,000 tickets are printed.
“On behalf of the Washington area’s Mercedes-Benz dealers, we are proud to be a part of one of the most successful charitable events in Washington,” said Pete Collins, Mercedes-Benz USA Northeast Region Area Manager. “It is of the utmost importance to our dealers to support local causes within the community that our customers care about.”
The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk funds lifesaving research and support for people battling cancer. Friends, families and co-workers form fundraising teams and millions of consumers help by donating at retail outlets. These efforts culminate in inspirational, memorable evening walks in over two hundred communities each fall across North America.