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Golf tournament benefits TGen pancreatic cancer research

Nearly 450 participants, including 288 golfers, are expected Dec. 7-8 at the 10th anniversary Seena Magowitz Golf Classic, benefiting pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The weekend charity tournament at the world-famous Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa is sponsored by the Seena Magowitz Foundation, which helps fund TGen’s global effort to eradicate pancreatic cancer, the nation’s fourth leading cause of cancer death.

The Golf Classic, which this year is expected to raise more than $500,000, also will feature celebrity emcees and two leading scientists in the field of cancer research.

“If we continue working together in a hard-fought campaign to curb this brutal disease, I’m confident that our efforts will make a life-changing difference,” said Leggett & Platt COO Karl Glassman, this year’s tournament Honorary Chairman, who lost his mother to breast cancer and a good friend to pancreatic cancer.

Following the golf tournament on Dec. 8, Derrick Hall, President and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, will co-emcee an awards luncheon with journalist and television personality Tara Hitchcock.

The luncheon’s featured speakers are: Keynote Speaker Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen’s Physician-In-Chief and one of the world’s leading authorities on pancreatic cancer; and Dr. Victor Velculescu, a Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

The weekend event kicks off from 6-11 p.m. Dec. 7 with a special Monte Carlo casino welcome, including live jazz from renowned trumpeter Jessie McGuire.

The golf tournament begins at 7 a.m. Dec. 8 with breakfast and registration, followed at 8:25 a.m. by McGuire’s special rendition of the National Anthem, which will begin the tournament’s shotgun start.

The luncheon — with special guests, a live auction and raffle — starts at 1 p.m.

The event caps off with an 8 p.m. Anniversary Music Concert, staring: pop artist Alyssa Bonagura, who just released a new album, Love Hard; Ira Dean, former member of the band Trick Pony; and Brooke Burrows.

“A decade ago, I don’t think any of us could have foreseen the tremendous progress that has been made by TGen to help conquer this disease,” said Roger Magowitz, President of the Magowitz Foundation, which he founded in honor of his mother, Seena, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2001. “The advent of TGen’s whole genome sequencing and the ability to search out each patient’s genetic vulnerability is a phenomenal biomedical advance.”

TGen’s use of whole genome sequencing in analyzing three pancreatic cancer patients was recently documented in a scientific study, funded in part by the Magowitz Foundation, and published in October by the Public Library of Science.

In addition, the Magowitz Foundation helped support a study that concluded in November that a new cancer drug combination demonstrated significant improvement in overall survival of late-stage pancreatic cancer patients, according to a clinical trial led by Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership with TGen.

“TGen’s groundbreaking pancreatic cancer research receives a tremendous boost from the Seena Magowitz Foundation’s annual December events,” said Michael Bassoff, President of the non-profit TGen Foundation. “Industry leaders like Leggett & Platt and Mattress Firm are making a difference in the lives of pancreatic cancer patients today.”

Pancreatic cancer annually takes the lives of more than 37,000 Americans. A staggering 74 percent of those diagnosed die within the first year, and only 6 percent survive more than five years.

Major tournament sponsors include: Leggett & Platt, Mattress Firm, Sealy, Mattress Discounters, Sleep Inc., Serta, Comfort Revolution, Ellman Family Vineyards, General Wholesale Beer Company, Morley Company, Simmons, Raymond James, Customatic, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A golf foursome, including the welcome and luncheon, is $1,750. Individual golfers are $450. For those who don’t play golf, and still want to participate, the welcome is $100 per person, while the luncheon is $150 per person.

Corporate sponsorships are available, ranging from $500 to $100,000. Sponsors may contact: Roger Magowitz at 602-524-7636 or roger@seenamagowitzfoundation.org; Liz McBeth, Tournament Director, at 757-773-7622 or liz@seenamagowitzfoundation.org; or Alison Bassoff, Vice President of Development, 602-361-7006 or Allison@seenamagowitzfoundation.org.