“Spring Forward” to Fight Cancer
When it comes to advancements in cancer research in the most palpable sense, The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Auxiliary Board (UCCRFAB) brings new meaning to putting their money where their mouths are. Since 1951, the North Shore-born board has been “investors in innovation,” funding unrestricted grants to three leading research doctors at the University of Chicago, all of whom work toward finding answers to cancer’s most mystifying components: prevention, early detection, and treatment.
North Shore resident Stephanie Howell began raising funds for the University of Chicago 56 years ago with a group of her friends. Due to her efforts, an official Auxiliary of the University of Chicago Research Foundation was born. Every three years since, the Board selects three doctors within the University’s team to be the beneficiaries of the Auxiliary’s efforts. This year marks the third and final year with Drs. Tara Henderson, Ernst Lengyel, and Sam Volchenboum, and their studies of pediatric and ovarian research.
This funding namely comes from the organization’s main event for the year. In the name of renewal and positive forward movement, the UCCRFAB will host “Spring Forward,” a high-energy gala on March 12, held at the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette. While the rest of the North Shore will be setting their clocks forward before bed in anticipation for Daylight Saving Time, the gala will just be getting off the ground. Co-chairs Peggy Tieman and Midge Wegener, both of Wilmette, promise an unforgettable evening, with the motif of “time” being present throughout the night, from décor to live and silent auction packages.
Currently, the Auxiliary is comprised of 22 women and approximately 20 sustaining and honorary members. While most will be in attendance, the real stars will be the doctors. “Every two years our Board has the opportunity to tour the University of Chicago labs providing a glimpse of what the doctors do on a daily basis,” explains Wegener. “It’s a wonderful experience getting to spend time with the doctors in such a warm and relaxed setting.”
Although petite in comparison to their other Auxiliary counterparts, don’t go calling the UCCRFAB incapable—they have raised more than $1.1 million for cancer research over the years. “The disease generates motivation to fight back,” says Tieman, “and that is exactly what our small but determined organization continues to do each and every year.”