This year’s theme, “Best of the Best,” will feature a weekend program with two keynote speakers and many special and talented guests to educate, inspire and entertain gala participants.
On Friday, Cancer Center Director Scot Remick, M.D., Cancer Center Deputy Director Laura Gibson, Ph.D., and a team of researchers and physicians will lead a course that will focus on the Sara Crile Allen and James Frederick Allen Lung Cancer Program and its multidisciplinary team efforts to better understand, treat and advance lung cancer care.
Dr. Remick will also update gala attendees on the tremendous growth of the Center’s programs and the trajectory for moving the Center toward a National Cancer Institute designation.
“The Center’s progress in growing its scientific and clinical pursuits over the last four years is evidence of the philanthropic impact on advancing cancer care in West Virginia,” Remick said. “With the help of our loyal supporters we will continue raising the bar for cancer care.”
John C. Allen, Jr., author of “Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County, West Virginia,” will share details of his architectural exploration of unique, historic residences. Allen works as a preservation coordinator and architectural historian near Shepherdstown. He is chairman of the Historic Landmarks Commission of Jefferson County.
Logan County native Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., who won NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” last year with his crooning, will perform at 7 p.m. on Friday evening. He will be accompanied by Jeff Flanigan and the Sweet Lipzz Band. Murphy’s win led to a recording contract and the release of his debut album, “That’s Life,” in November.
Saturday’s program begins with two keynote speakers – political analyst Peter Hart, who will speak at 10 a.m., and WVU’s favorite son, Jerry West, who will speak at 11:15 a.m.
For more than 40 years, Hart has been one of the leading analysts of public opinion in the United States. Since 1971, he has directed Peter D. Hart Research Associates, which has conducted more than 6,000 public opinion surveys that have included interviews among more than 5 million individuals. His firm’s client list reads as a who’s who of American politics, representing major political figures, including the Clintons, Humphreys, Kennedys, Mondales and Rockefellers. Internationally, Hart has conducted studies in South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He appears frequently on major television programs that discuss public policy issues.
WVU Mountaineer basketball legend Jerry West grew up in Chelyan in southern West Virginia. Known as “Mr. Clutch,” he played three seasons for the Mountaineers at a time when freshmen were not eligible to play. He is WVU’s all-time career scoring leader and rebounder and set 12 school records. When the 1960 NBA draft came around, he was the first pick of the Los Angeles Lakers. In his 14-year NBA career with the Lakers, West scored 25,192 points, making him the sixth highest scorer in NBA history. When West retired from basketball, he coached the Lakers and later became the team’s general manager, leading the Lakers to eight world championships. He became president of basketball operations for the Memphis Grizzlies before retiring in 2007. West was elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1979.
In the afternoon, gala participants will be treated to a culinary demonstration and preview of Saturday evening’s dinner with Greenbrier Executive Chef Richard Rosendale and his four predecessors, each of whom has delighted the palate of resort guests over the past 27 years.
Meredith German, co-founder of the Meredith Wendell Company of New York, and Joan Stamp, founder of BeadJeweled, will present “Accessorize and Stylize.” German’s company specializes in belts, bags and jewelry. Stamp designs and creates unique jewelry inspired by her travels at home and abroad. All of the money raised from the sale of their items will directly benefit the Cancer Center.
The 27th annual Cancer Center Gala will culminate with a black-tie dinner dance featuring the sounds of Benny Benack and his orchestra at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Registration is $400 per person. Accommodations are available through The Greenbrier.
For more information about this year’s gala call Tammy Whitacre at 304-293-8604.
For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087