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2012 Leukemia Ball Toasts 25 Years of Making a Difference

Silver Anniversary Gala to Feature Performances by Classic Rock Band
Foreigner and Comedian Sinbad

Saturday, March 31, 2012; Washington Convention Center; 6:30 p.m.

Alexandria, VA - Although 25 years may have passed since the first Leukemia Ball in 1988, to many attendees it still "Feels Like the First Time." But $42 million later, nearly 2,500 Washington, D.C.-area business leaders will offer "A Toast to Making a Difference" at the 25th Annual Leukemia Ball, set to take place at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 at the Washington Convention Center. This year, the Ball will feature performances by classic rock band Foreigner and comedian Sinbad.

The Ball, long known as Washington, D.C.?s largest one-night non-political black-tie gala, is expected to raise more than $3.1 million on behalf of The National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

"Without the generous and longstanding support of Washington-area business leaders and volunteers, the Leukemia Ball could not have survived - and thrived! - as it has since its inception in 1988," said Gabrielle Urquhart, Executive Director of LLS's National Capital Area Chapter. "We simply cannot thank our volunteers and donors enough for the work they make possible?including funding life-saving cancer research, providing educational programs and improving the lives of patients and their families."

This year, the Leukemia Ball is co-chaired by Robin Lineberger, CEO of Deloitte Federal Services and James H. Davis, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, of Human Genome Sciences.  Human Genome Sciences will also be honored as a "Titan of Business & Philanthropy" at the Ball.  The co-chairs lead a stellar Executive Committee of more than 60 of the area?s most talented, committed business leaders who volunteer to plan the Ball and raise millions of dollars in support of LLS's mission.

"I continue to be humbled, amazed and inspired by the extraordinary efforts of the Executive Committee in support of LLS's mission to cure blood cancer," said Lineberger. "Although much has been accomplished, we still have a long way to go. Blood cancer takes the life of another person every ten minutes. We cannot rest until a cure is found."

Seventy-five percent of the funds spent by LLS go directly to research, patient and community services, advocacy and education. Continued funding of cutting-edge science has contributed to an unprecedented rise in survival rates for some blood cancers.  For example, the relative five-year survival rate for people with leukemia has nearly quadrupled the past 40 years.

"In spite of enormous advancements in treatment - including miraculous new drugs such as Rituxan and Gleevac - we are still waging a war against blood cancer," said Davis. "An average of 145 people die of blood cancer every day, or nearly six people an hour. Our battle will continue until those numbers are zero."

The Leukemia Ball is long recognized as one of Washington's most popular black-tie galas. The silent auction, which raised $276,000 in 2011, is one of the area?s largest, featuring a variety of travel packages, including American Airlines air travel to exotic locations. The event also boasts a Mercedes-Benz raffle featuring two brand new vehicles donated by local Mercedes-Benz dealers. Tickets are $100 and only 5,000 tickets are printed.

The event's unwavering popularity over the past two decades is also largely due to the popularity of the entertainment featured.  Past headliners have included Diana Ross, Jay Leno, Bill Cosby, Dennis Miller, John Mellencamp, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Seinfeld, Dana Carvey, Reba McIntyre, Jim Belushi, Dan Ackroyd and Lionel Richie.

Sponsorship opportunities for the 2012 Leukemia Ball are available at a number of levels. For more information, please visit here: 

last updated on Monday, April 30, 2012