ALEXANDRIA, VA - Do you know where you are going to? On March 12, 2011, chances are you will want to be at the 24th annual Leukemia Ball – to be held at the Washington Convention Center – where 2,500 D.C. business leaders will be entertained by bona-fide living legend Diana Ross. The Ball will also feature a performance by actor and comedian John Heffron, winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing.
With a career spanning more than five decades, Miss Ross scored 12 number-one U.S. singles as lead singer of The Supremes (including “Stop! In The Name of Love,” “Come See About Me” and “Love Child”) and another six as a solo artist (such as “Love Hangover,” “Upside Down” and “Theme from Mahogany”). 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, 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 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.”
This year’s Ball’s is co-chaired by Stephen L. Lilly, Senior Vice President & CFO NRUCFC; and Robin Lineberger, CEO of Deloitte Federal Services. The co-chairs lead a stellar Executive Committee of more than 60 of the area’s most talented, committed business leaders who volunteer to plan the Ball and raise million of dollars in support of LLS’s mission.
“Year after year, I never fail to be inspired and amazed by our team of extraordinary business leaders working together to achieve a common goal – curing blood cancers,” said Lilly. “It’s humbling to witness so many talented individuals giving their best to champion this important community need.”
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. For example, the relative five-year survival rate for people with leukemia has nearly quadrupled the past 40 years.
“Despite these achievements, the war against blood cancer is not yet over,” said Lineberger. “Every five minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer, and every 10 minutes, someone dies from a blood cancer. That’s 145 people each day, or nearly six people every hour. We must continue our battle until a cure is found.”
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.
The event’s unwavering popularity over the past two decades is also largely due to the popularity of the entertainment featured. Past headliners have included Jay Leno, Bill Cosby, Dennis Miller, John Mellencamp, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey, Reba McIntyre, Jim Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Lionel Richie.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
About The National Capital Area Chapter
LLS has 58 U.S. chapters, and the National Capital Area Chapter is one of the highest revenue-generating chapters in the nation. The National Capital Area Chapter serves Washington DC; the Maryland counties of Prince George and Montgomery; and the Virginia Counties of Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria and Prince William. More than 2,500 patients and families are served by the chapter each year.