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Annual Minds Matter Benefit Dinner Raises Funds for Northwestern Medicine Brain Tumor Patients

Malnati Brain Tumor Institute largest funded grant recipient in Chicago

Northwestern Medicine Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital will hold its annual Minds Matter Benefit Dinner on Friday, May 17 at 6 p.m. for an evening to honor and support individuals affected by brain and spinal tumors. This year’s theme is “Darkness to Light” and includes iconic Chicago television news anchor Robin Robinson who will serve as the master of ceremonies for the black-tie benefit dinner.

Outside the 30,000 square foot urban-chic Revel Fulton Market, guests will be greeted by a purple carpet, cocktails and the beat of Gentlemen of Leisure Band. After cocktail hour, the ballroom curtain will open where guests will ascend into the ballroom revealing a gallery of neon stacked glowing cubes with photos highlighting the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute ten years of Minds Matter Benefit Dinner designed by Revel Decor. Three course dinner will be served by Limelight Catering while light jazz music is played. After dinner, dessert, coffee/tea, a surprise celebrity guest video will appear from American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and producer, Jim Gaffigan. Born in Elgin, Ill., Gaffigan personally experienced the importance of funding for brain tumor research when his wife, Jeannie Gaffigan, was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in April 2017. In the video, Gaffigan credits the success of research and brain tumor scientists for “literally saving her life.”

“Through the philanthropic support from our donors, the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital has made remarkable strides to better serve our patients and their families,” said James P. Chandler, MD, co-director of the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute, surgical director of neuro-oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Lavin/Fates professor of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Earlier this year we were able to open a new, state-of-the-art clinic to provide better continuity of care from diagnosis to follow-up appointments, and with contributions we look forward to taking MBTI to the next level.”

“We have one of the foremost leading brain tumor institutes in the country to help bring the highest level of cancer care to our patients,” said Roger Stupp, MD, co-director of the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, professor of medicine (hematology/oncology), neurology and neurosurgical surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and associate director for strategic initiatives at the Lurie Cancer Center. “Every bit of support makes an impact to one day cure this disease.”

Andrea Cohen and Tom McCarthy are co-chairing the event this year. Both have been personally affected by brain cancer—Cohen lost her husband to glioblastoma in November of 2013 and McCarthy lost his father to glioblastoma in 2007. Both co-chairs have been long time members of the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute Advisory Board and are proud to help lead the benefit dinner this year.

Individual dinner tickets are $500 and must be purchased prior to the event. There will be an opportunity to bid for live paddle raise items during the benefit dinner. Event tickets include admission to an after party planned by Bodega Chicago starting at 10 p.m. Late night snacks provided by Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and Eli’s Cheesecake will also be offered later in the evening.

This year’s Minds Matter Benefit Dinner underwriting sponsors include Eli Cheesecake Company, Lou Malnati Pizzeria, Breakthru Beverage Group, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Terlato Wines International and Marzec Photography. Top sponsors include The Bill Bass Foundation, Laura Kofoid and David Ricci, William Blair, David Herro and Jay Franke, and Thomas and Robin McCarthy. Media sponsor for this year’s Benefit Dinner is Modern Luxury.

The institute was launched in 2008 by the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, in partnership with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, to accelerate efforts to advance research breakthroughs and to improve treatment, outcomes and quality of life for patients with brain and spinal tumors.

To learn more about ticket sales or the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, please visit braintumorinstitute.org/minds-matter or call 312.926.7133. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

To learn more about Northwestern Medicine, please visit news.nm.org/about-northwestern-medicine.html.

To learn more about the Lurie Cancer Center, please visit cancer.northwestern.edu.