The El Camino Hospital Foundation’s fourth annual “Sapphire Soirée” fundraiser drew 470 guests to the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton May 31.
The benefit included a performance by the Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies, a live auction and a chance to win a pair of pink sapphire earrings donated by Darren McClung Estate & Precious Jewelry. The event raised nearly $600,000 to establish a cancer survivorship program at El Camino Hospital’s Cancer Center.
“We are here tonight to celebrate the Cancer Center’s accomplishments and its hopes for the future,” said El Camino Hospital CEO Tomi Ryba, listing as highlights the hospital’s accreditation last year and its five-year survival data for cancer patients. “We cannot do this work alone. Thank you for your wonderful support.”
Sandra and Doug Bergeron and Katie and Greg Morganroth, M.D., of Atherton served as co-chairs of the event. Honorary chairs Pamela and Ed Taft of Los Altos Hills donated a $250,000 challenge gift in honor of Pamela’s mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year at the age of 82.
“In past years, our challenge gifts to the Cancer Center have been about supporting the great work of the doctors and about helping our friends, our neighbors and our community,” Pamela said. “This year, it is more personal.”
Attendees rose to the Tafts’ challenge, beginning with a $50,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor.
Master of ceremonies Carolyn Johnson and auctioneer Lenny Broberg of the San Francisco Police Department’s Gang Task Force presided over bidding on items that included a weeklong stay in an oceanview condominium in Cancun, a sapphire ring, a Paris shopping excursion and an electric guitar autographed by members of Barenaked Ladies.
Since its inception, the “Sapphire Soirée” has raised more than $2 million for the Cancer Center. Proceeds from previous events underwrote the establishment of the patient navigation program, the melanoma program and the high-risk breast program as well as development of the soon-to-be-built healing space.
For more information, visit elcaminohospital.org/About_El_Camino_Hospital/Foundation.