UTHCT announces members of committee spearheading 'Celebration 2007: XXX Out Cancer'

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has selected the members of the committee in charge of preparations for Celebration 2007.

The theme of Celebration 2007 is "XXX Out Cancer." All proceeds from this annual fund-raising gala will be used locally for cancer research and treatment at UTHSCT. Celebration 2007 will take place on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler.

"The members of the Celebration 2007 Committee have our sincere thanks for their dedication and willingness to work tirelessly to benefit the Health Center's fight to conquer cancer. Their efforts enable the Health Center to fulfill its mission of providing excellent patient care and community health, comprehensive education, and innovative research," UTHSCT President Dr. Kirk A. Calhoun said.

"Cancer is a disease that touches almost everyone in some way. UTHSCT scientists are working to understand how cancer works and why it spreads. They are probing cancer's secrets in order to design ways to interrupt and stop it," he said.

"We're excited about expanding our cancer treatment with our new oncologist, who will be joining us later this summer," Dr. Calhoun said.

"We're also very proud to celebrate 30 years of partnership with The University of Texas System. UTHSCT officially became one of six health institutions in the system on Sept. 1, 1977. We are indebted to the late State Sen. Peyton McKnight of Tyler, who authored the bill that made this happen," Dr. Calhoun said.

Joanne Idell and Annette Findley are co-chairs of the Celebration 2007 Committee.

"Annette and I are pleased to spearhead this committee. Several UTHSCT researchers are working on exciting new developments in the cancer field. Their collaboration with researchers from Oxford University in England, the University of Pennsylvania, and Justus-Liebig University in Germany has garnered international attention," Ms. Idell said.

"The goal, to eradicate cancer, is a high priority and finally seems attainable. We deeply appreciate the Tyler community's support of this endeavor. The Celebration Committee is preparing for an exciting evening on Nov. 1, 2007," she added.

Members of the committee are Donna Belt, Shirley Boone, Jeanette Deas Calhoun, Geri Cohen, Maryann Williams-Coultas, Debby Davis, Maxine Flatt, Genelle Gann, Candice Gast, LaVerne Gollob, Laura Hyde, Laura Little, Marsha Nelson, Veretta Rider, and Audrey Wharton. Ex-officio members are John Anderson, interim director of Institutional Advancement at UTHSCT; Kimberly Ashley, director of University Affairs and Community Affairs; and Rhonda Scoby, director of Public Affairs and Marketing.

Since the first celebration held in November 2002, the event has established a distinctive tradition of excellence. In February, this tradition was rewarded when UTHSCT received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Events, for "Celebration 2006: The Art of Healthy Living," held Nov. 2, 2006, at Harvey Convention Center in Tyler.

Dr. Calhoun said, "We are honored to receive this Chancellor's Award from UT System. It is a recognition of the quality of our annual Celebration event."

This award is given annually by The University of Texas System administrators and recognizes the best practices and innovations at UT System institutions. The Health Center received the award Feb. 27, 2007, at the UT System Seminar 2007 in Austin. John Anderson, interim director of Institutional Advancement, and Rhonda Scoby, director of Public Affairs and Marketing, received the award from UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof.

Last year's celebration raised $175,000 for UTHSCT's new Aging Research and Treatment - or ART - Unit, part of UTHSCT's Center for Healthy Aging. Since the first gala in 2002, more than $700,000 has been raised for life-saving initiatives at UT Health Science Center.

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