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About the Foundation

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Sapphire Soirée Celebrates Cancer Center’s 10th Anniversary

Sapphire Soirée Celebrates Cancer Center’s 10th AnniversaryAfter “sipping for a sapphire” and sampling signature cocktails in the Menlo Circus Club clubhouse, attendees of El Camino Hospital Foundation’s 7th annual Sapphire Soirée followed a stilt walker and ribbon twirlers down the path to the magnificent dinner tent. Swathes of magenta fabric with twinkly lights punctuated by floral chandeliers draped the ceiling, and sculptural, acrobatic flower arrangements graced elegantly set tables. The décor artistically evoked the circus, creating a celebratory ambiance in honor of the El Camino Hospital Cancer Center’s 10th anniversary.

Cancer Center Medical Director Shyamali Singhal, MD, PhD welcomed the 420 physicians, community leaders and El Camino Hospital supporters who were there to mark the occasion. “In 2005, we had no coordinated cancer services at El Camino Hospital,” she recalled. “Most of the patients were diagnosed here and sent elsewhere for treatment.” 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 and community volunteer Nicole Richardson, who both related moving personal stories about how cancer has touched their families. Following a cancer healthy dinner of sea bass and filet mignon, spirited bidding for the live auction items commenced. Two of the hottest packages were 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 and Precious Jewelry and jewelry designer Robert Procop.

Honorary Chairs Pamela and Edward Taft launched the fund-in-need appeal with the announcement of a $200,000 challenge gift to celebrate the Cancer Center’s decade of achievement and support the continued growth of its exceptional, patient-centered program. The Sip for a Sapphire drawing was held and Darren McClung, who donated the exquisite prize, presented the prawn cocktail pendant to the beaming winner. The audience was captivated by Troupe Vertigo’s daring and artistic cirque performance and then crowded onto the dance floor as The Cheeseballs played favorite tunes of the past six decades.

Sapphire Soirée 2017 raised more than $360,000, which will be used to keep the Cancer Center on the leading edge of hope and healing for the coming decade and beyond. “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, “and we will maintain our focus on the needs of the whole patient.”

Make a donation at www.elcaminohospital.org/promise or contact Philanthropy Officer Lindsay Ehrman at 650-988-7849, lindsay.ehrman@elcaminohospital.org to learn more.