Community Celebrates Local Survivors, Wilmot Cancer Center
Discovery Ball brings $730,000 for research, clinical programs
Hundreds of people celebrated the many clinical and research successes of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center during its 11th annual Discovery Ball on May 1. The gala fundraiser raised (after expenses) $730,000 to support local cancer research and care.
“It was a wonderful night that brought together so many friends of the Wilmot Cancer Center who demonstrated their support for our mission to find cures,” said Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the Wilmot Cancer Center.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Inspiration Award, the center’s highest honor, to Lou Iovoli. The Victor man is an oral cancer survivor who overcame his disease and went on to complete an Ironman triathlon last year.
As he accepted the award, Iovoli spoke of the difficult moments during his care and of the Ironman, and how spectators cheered him on by ringing cowbells. He then challenged guests to ring cowbells at each table and pledge their support for the Wilmot Cancer Center. The room was filled with the clanging of bells and he ultimately raised nearly $150,000, thanks to matching donations from event chairs Jim and Donna Hammer and Nancy and Friends Fighting Cancer, Inc.
“Each year we are proud to share the incredible stories of our survivors and Lou Iovoli’s courage, strength and determination inspired our patients and the doctors, nurses and staff throughout the Wilmot Cancer Center,” Fisher said.The Ball was a success because of the volunteer effort and corporate sponsors that continuously support the Wilmot Cancer Center.