This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Miracle Fund Celebration, yet organizer and patron enthusiasm hasn’t diminished one bit over the years. In fact, with some outstanding medical successes, University Hospital’s Miracle Fund and the events that enrich it are making great strides in the fight against cancer. The event was presented by Mary and Jim Conway and Third Federal Foundation.
Three hundred guests gathered at Landerhaven for a classic benefit evening: cocktails, dinner, silent auction, presentations, and dancing. Chairs Bridget Baughn and Mary McKenna had the invitation suggest dressy casual, and guests opted for dressy. Stylish touches abounded: sequins, gorgeous shoes, and cocktail dresses – some peek-a-boo, others simply graceful. (Gentlemen: yes, you can be dressed up with no
tie – keep those crisp shirts and tailored coats coming.) Landerhaven never looked more glamorous.
The Miracles Happen benefit takes place in order to fund research for advanced cancers. But more, the fund is a very personal fight on the part of its founders including the honorary co-chairs Ned Hyland and Sean Hennessy and their families. Consequently, the ambiance throughout was one of an important and joyous family reunion filled with several generations of cousins and siblings, aunts and uncles all greeting each other, reveling in the occasion.
Miracle Fund events have raised more than $20 million to support research, recruiting, and treatment options. The investment is paying
off according to Dr. Ted Teknos, President/Scientific Director Jane and Lee Seidman, Chair in Cancer Innovation. He estimates the research made possible through the fund has saved three million lives, as well as extended the life expectancy of millions more. Originally the fund went to breast cancer research but was expanded to include all advanced cancers. Dr. Teknos referred to encouraging new clinical trials for metastatic cancer, no matter where it occurs, including innovative targeted, immunotherapeutic treatment.
At the event, Diana and Dean Kohmann, and the Marc Stefanski Family were awarded the 2022 Miracle Fund Champion Award for their support and leadership. Organizers are still counting but estimate they raised $300,000 at this year’s Miracles Happen Celebration. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER