Mountain View, CA, May 22, 2017 – More than 420 physicians, community leaders and El Camino Hospital supporters gathered at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton on Saturday evening, April 29, 2017 to celebrate the Cancer Center’s 10th anniversary. They “sipped for a sapphire,” vied for live auction items, watched a spectacular circus-as-art performance by Troupe Vertigo, and danced to the music of The Cheeseballs. The evening raised more than $360,000 for the Cancer Center.
“In 2005, we had no coordinated cancer services at El Camino Hospital. Most of the patients were diagnosed here and sent elsewhere for treatment,” Cancer Center Medical Director Shyamali Singhal, MD, PhD, recalled. Today, the Cancer Center is an accredited program with nearly 2,000 new patients a year, achieving five-year survival results for some stage IV cancers that are three to five times better than national benchmarks. “Every time we have needed something for our patients to improve care or to take us to the next level, this community has responded,” she told the crowd. “Together, we have built a cancer program that serves our community in the best possible way.”
The gala benefit was chaired by El Camino Hospital Foundation board member Kavita Tankha of Los Altos Hills and community volunteer Nicole Richardson of Atherton. Honorary Chairs Pamela and Edward Taft of Los Altos Hills, announced a $200,000 challenge gift to celebrate the Cancer Center’s decade of achievement and help to advance Dr. Singhal’s vision for the future. Lenny Broberg of the San Francisco Police Department’s gang task force served as auctioneer and presided over spirited bidding for several items, including lunch for 20 prepared by Chef Gary Danko in his Michelin-rated San Francisco restaurant and American glamour clutch sapphire earrings donated by Darren McClung Estate & Precious Jewelry and jewelry designer Robert Procop.
Now in its seventh year, Sapphire Soirée has raised nearly $3.4 million for the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center. Proceeds from previous years launched the nurse navigation program, complementary healing programs in the Pamela and Edward Taft Healing Space, outreach programs in high risk breast cancer and melanoma, a dedicated survivorship program, the “cancer healthy” prevention and early detection program, psycho-social and nutritional support services, and the purchase of the Calypso Beacon Transponder, a state-of-the-art technology that helps to more accurately target radiation therapy. Proceeds this year will support the center’s continued growth over the coming decade. “We will continue to bring the newest treatments to patients, more clinical trials, the best medical devices, and early adoption of new modalities in diagnosis and imaging, Dr. Singhal promised. “We will maintain our focus on the needs of the whole patient.”