DC’s Largest, Non-Political Black Tie Event Celebrates 30 Years

DC’s Largest, Non-Political Black Tie Event Celebrates 30 Years

One of DC’s can’t-miss events, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Leukemia Ball, celebrated its 30th Anniversary on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The Leukemia Ball reigns as one of the Washington, D.C. area’s largest, non-political black tie events, bringing together business, philanthropic and community leaders to support the fight against blood cancer. The star-studded 2017 Leukeima Ball had more than 1,700 guests laughing along with Grammy-nominated comedian Jim Gaffigan and dancing the night away to music from platinum-selling artist Andy Grammer. This extraordinary evening raised an astounding $4.1 million dollars – funds that will go towards life-saving cancer research and patient programs provided by LLS.

Nationally recognized television personalities were the events co-emcees, ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak and MSNBC anchor and Today Show national correspondent Craig Melvin had a humorous stage rapport – which isn’t just happenstance – they are married and met years ago here in Washington D.C. at the local NBC news affiliate. All proceeds benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), National Capital Area Chapter.

Fund the Fight portion of the evening featured Patrick Paolini, Vice President & General Manager, Fox5, Holly Morris, Anchor, Fox 5, and Morning-Show Radio Personality Loo-Katz from WASH-FM.

The 2017 Leukemia Ball is co-chaired by Wayne Berson, CEO of BDO, and David DiLuigi, Market President, Greater Washington & Central Virginia for Wilmington Trust, N.A. They lead an esteemed volunteer Executive Committee of more than 50 high-ranking executives representing major organizations across the Washington, D.C. area who volunteer their time and efforts to create a memorable evening and raise millions of dollars in support of LLS’s mission.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

Washington Area Mercedes-Benz dealers, who have been raffle sponsors of the Leukemia Ball for 20 years, and have helped raised more than $7 million for LLS through the raffle.  Thanks to the generosity of Washington Area Mercedes-Benz dealers there was the opportunity to win one of two Mercedes-Benz prizes.

The festivities also include dinner, a world-class silent auction featuring incredible travel packages from official airlines sponsor, American Airlines and a Mercedes-Benz raffle.

The evening featured a special fundraising effort, in honor of former LLS National Capital Chapter Executive Director and Leukemia Ball Founder, David Timko, a two-time lymphoma survivor. Driven by some of the region’s top corporate executives, C.E. Andrews, Chairman of MorganFranklin; Albert Lord, former head of Sallie Mae; Ed Quinn, Chairman of TW Perry; and Bill Shaw, Chairman of Marriott Vacations Worldwide, presented a check for $1 million to LLS in David Timko’s name. The first Leukemia Ball spearheaded by Timko raised $80,000.

Since 1988, the Leukemia Ball has raised more than $59 million to support LLS’s mission. Over the course of three decades, funds raised by LLS through events like the Ball have changed the landscape of cancer care and provided hope to more than one million Americans living with blood cancer. Locally, there are more than 25,000 people in the DC metro region living with leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma.

What people are saying about the event:

Washington Redskin, Ryan Kerrigan: “The Leukemia Ball never disappoints!  Year in and year out, it is one of the best events around.  I feel very fortunate to a play small part in an evening that raised over $4 million for blood cancer research.”

Wayne Berson, Leukemia Ball Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer, BDO: “The Leukemia Ball is one of DC’s can’t miss events. What’s truly inspiring is how the community really came together to exceed our goals for the 30th year Anniversary… This mission is critically important and I am proud to partner with an organization that is leading the charge in changing outcomes for cancer patients.”