UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation’s 21st Annual Taste for a Cure raises nearly $1 million for cancer research

Fox Sports President, COO and Executive Producer, Eric Shanks honored for his commitment to cancer research and philanthropy
UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation Donor Wall
The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation Donor Wall, located on the UCLA campus, honors donors whose contributions and support continue to advance our mission to end cancer through research

The UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation hosted their premiere annual benefit, Taste for a Cure on Thursday April 28th at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. This benefit, in its 21st year, was created to honor notable individuals and companies that are committed to philanthropic efforts and raise much-needed funds for cancer research to benefit the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Five hundred people attended the sold out fundraiser, helping to raise almost $1 million dollars at night’s end. BMW was the presenting sponsor.

Fox Sports President, COO and Executive Producer, Eric Shanks was recognized for his philanthropic endeavors with the 2016 Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award, named in memory of the  Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (JCCF) supporter Gil Nickel, proprietor of Napa Valley’s Far Niente Winery. Mr. Shanks’ philanthropic work is notable in making a significant impact in assisting the lives of children as well as those affected by cancer.

The event was hosted by Colin Cowherd (host of The Herd on FS1 and FOX NFL Kickoff) and Charissa Thompson (host of FOX NFL Kickoff) with special guest, Terry Crews (Star of FOX's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and former NFL football player) who introduced Board Member and cancer survivor, Eileen Fracchia.

With an Americana theme, the 21st Annual Taste for a Cure showcased three top chefs; Chef Bellec for The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Chef James Trees for Superba Food + Bread, and Chef Turchetti for Locanda del Lago. Guests enjoyed the walk up style tasting dinner, live auction, video presentation, awards ceremony, fund a grant moment, and live entertainment.

A selection of wines was served from 13 different wineries including Quady Winery (CA), L'Ecole N˚ 41 (WA), Ken Brown Wines (CA), Domain Drouhin (Oregon), Rose Rock (Oregon), Louis Martini (CA), Hedges (Washington), Heitz (CA), Au Bon Climat (CA), Dry Creek Vineyards (CA), Brander Vineyard (CA), and Robert Talbott (CA). There was also a Champagne bar featuring Champagne Jacquart from France. The event’s honorary wines and partners were Far Niente, EnRoute, Dolce and Nickel and Nickel.

For the past 20 years, Taste for a Cure has been JCCF’s signature event, raising over $12 million to date in support of leading-edge cancer research. Funds are used to accelerate the collaborative efforts of scientists and provide vital backing to the next generation of young investigators at the crucial time in their careers where it is likely to have the greatest impact. This key support is an important part of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center’s overall outstanding work and which led to a historic eighteen months for the center: UCLA researchers pioneered a remarkable five groundbreaking therapies approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for cancer treatment.

“Thanks to the outstanding event co-chairs, our stellar honoree, Eric Shanks, and generous attendees and sponsors, including BMW, our Presenting Sponsor, this coming year will be filled with even more innovative research and powerful collaborations at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center,” said Margaret Steele, Executive Director, Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation.

2016 Taste for a Cure Dinner Committee Co-Chairs were Joe Cohen (Co-Head Television, CAA), Jon Holman (President, The Holman Group), Larry Maguire (President, Far Niente Winery), Gary Newman (Co-Chairman & CEO, FOX Television Group), Jay Sures (Managing Director, UTA), and Dana Walden (Co-Chairman & CEO, FOX Television Group). Benefit sponsors included The Kenneth Jonsson Family Foundation, Kathy and Randy Katz and Airline Partner, Delta Airlines.

The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, founded in 1945, is the single most important vehicle for raising private funds for cancer research at UCLA. The foundation supports high-priority cancer research efforts aimed at translating laboratory discoveries into more effective and less toxic therapies for cancer patients.