The late Judi Kaufman’s husband Roy Kaufman with their grandson Garrett Kaufman-Valdes,
Art of the Brain, a nonprofit organization that raises public awareness of brain cancer and spotlights the talent, strength and courage of brain-cancer patients, celebrated its 16th anniversary gala on September 26, 2015, at UCLA Schoenberg Hall. The event raised more than $370,000 to support brain-cancer research in the UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program under the direction of Dr. Timothy Cloughesy (RES ’91, FEL ’92).
Art of the Brain was founded by the late Judi Kaufman, who died September 21, 2015, at the age of 71, just days before the event. An international community activist, artist, author, philanthropist and a brain-cancer survivor of 18 years, she was named one of the winners of the 10th annual Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Making a Difference Award. Since 2000, the organization has raised more than $7 million for the UCLA program.
“Art of the Brain is the lifeblood of the UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program, providing necessary funding to perform our critical research,” Dr. Cloughesy says. “We will all deeply miss Judi Kaufman as a friend, colleague and role model. We will honor her wishes by continuing the important work she started.”
“The Art of Friendship” was the theme for the evening, which featured gourmet food, desserts and fine wines. Attendees were treated to a performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. Dr. David Nathanson, assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, was presented with the Johnny Mercer Foundation Research Award for his contributions to brain-cancer research. Art of the Brain’s “Brain Buddies” volunteers were honored with the Judi Kaufman Founder’s Responsibility Award for their efforts and commitment to activities benefiting brain-cancer research and treatments. In the wake of the founder’s passing, attendance was among the highest since the organization’s inception. Sentiments about Kaufman’s generosity of spirit and devotion to changing the future of people with brain cancer were shared by all who took the stage, including Francesca Eastwood, Clint Eastwood’s daughter, who read Kaufman’s poetry. It was both a solemn and joyful occasion, acknowledging Judi Kaufman and others who have passed, as well as the many survivors in attendance.
Kaufman’s courage inspired countless people and will live on through her philanthropy. She is survived by her husband Roy, their daughters Jennifer and Suzy and grandsons Garrett and Sebastian.
For more information, contact Pamela Thompson at: (310) 267-1837