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CancerCare® Festival of Hope Gala Raises Vital Funds to Support Free Services

NEW YORK (May 11, 2017) – Hundreds of health care industry leaders , patient advocates and supporters of CancerCare® attended the national nonprofit’s Festival of Hope Gala on May 10, raising crucial funds to support the organization’s free services for anyone affected by cancer. The Festival of Hope Gala took place at The Park Savoy in Florham Park, NJ.

After welcoming remarks from CancerCare New Jersey Board of Managers Member and Festival of Hope Gala Chair Anne-Marie Robertson, CancerCare New Jersey Board of Managers President Shabnam Kazmi took the stage to speak about CancerCare’s Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp, a free weekend retreat in the Poconos for families who have experienced the loss of a loved one to cancer. Funds raised from The Festival of Hope Gala support this vital program for children and families.

CancerCare Chief Executive Officer Patricia J. Goldsmith announced Celldex Therapeutics as this year’s recipient of the Corporate Achievement Award. The award was accepted by Dr. Richard Wright, who spoke about Celldex’s commitment to developing innovative cancer treatments and the importance of CancerCare’s free psychosocial support services for anyone coping with cancer.

One of the more moving segments of the evening was a series of personal remarks by members of one of CancerCare’s New Jersey office’s bereavement support group. The group, each member coping with the loss of a loved one to cancer, formed a close bond and dubbed themselves “Tomorrow’s Hopefuls.” The group members are tremendous supporters of CancerCare, regularly raising funds at the Walk/Run for Hope events and volunteering their time and resources to help the organization in any way they can.

CancerCare Director of Regional Programs Kathy Nugent, LCSW presented the 2017 Volunteer Award to Nancy Laracy, known affectionately to CancerCare supporters as The Bunny Lady. Each year, Laracy and her “therapy bunny,” Muffin, visit CancerCare’s Healing Hearts Family Bereavement Camp to provide comfort and support to families coping with cancer.

CancerCare thanks the 2017 Festival of Hope Gala Committee Members who helped make the night a success: Lourdes Andryszczak, Regina Durazzo-Giordano, Mark Gorman, Wendy Jacob, John F. Kouten, Paulette Pera Laurenzi, Donna Meir, Gerald Najarian, Barbara Parmese, Richard A. Sackin, Florence Savage, Veronica Sherry, and Beth R. Wiesner.

About CancerCare®

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts. Headquartered in New York, NY, CancerCare maintains three additional locations in Norwalk, CT, Ridgewood, NJ and Syosset, NY.

To learn more, visit or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).


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