Celebrating its 24th year, the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation (JCCF) signature event, Taste for a Cure, was held on Friday, April 26, 2019, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to raise vital funds for leading-edge research at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC). During this special evening, the 2019 Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award was presented to Sandra Stern, president of Lionsgate Television Group.
Stern has been a key member of Lionsgate’s senior management team for the past 16 years and helped guide the company’s business to record-breaking revenue growth. A graduate of the UCLA School of Law, Stern is a founding member of the school’s Leadership, Empowerment, Advancement and Distinction Program and serves on the board of the school’s Ziffren Center for Media, Entertainment, Technology and Sports Law, where she also teaches. In 2015, she received the UCLA Law Alumni of the Year Award.
“We are so pleased to honor Sandra Stern, who is respected and beloved for her commitment to fostering the next generation, a priority at the JCCC as well,” said Randy Katz, JCCF chairman. “As part of an educational institution, the JCCC is dedicated to training and empowering future cancer research leaders — all toward helping patients live healthier, happier lives.”
The evening was hosted by Soledad O’Brien, award-winning journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist who anchors and produces Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien. Stern’s award was presented by Brian Tannenbaum, who spearheads alternative programming for Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi content team and was mentored by Stern while at Lionsgate. The evening also featured a special acoustic performance by Ryan Tedder from One Republic and star of NBC’s Songland.
Valorie Kondos Field, a cancer survivor and former UCLA gymnastics coach who led UCLA to seven NCAA Women’s National Gymnastics championships, a PAC-12 Coach of the Century awardee and UCLA JCCF board member, spoke to the audience on mentoring, saying that mentoring was instilled in her by the legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. “From Coach Wooden, I learned most of all to believe in ourselves,” she said. “Spending hours with Coach Wooden is what helped me realize my own inner champion. That is why I wanted to become a part of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation — they help build champions. Champion scientists, champion thinkers, champion caregivers. With 1.6 million people diagnosed with cancer each year, there remains important work still to do.”
The event theme, A Culinary Journey through Asia, was curated by executive chef Helene An of House of An and Crustacean Beverly Hills. Featuring tastings from wineries and distillers, as well as a sumptuous array of dishes from some of Los Angeles’s top Asian and Asian-influenced chefs and restaurants, the event highlighted culinary offerings from Crustacean, Hinoki and the Bird, Blackship, Dan Modern Chinese and the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Event co-chairs included Dana Walden, chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment; Gary Newman, chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Television; Joe Cohen, co-head of Television at Creative Artists Agency; Jon Holman, president of The Holman Group; Larry Maguire, president emeritus and founding partner of Far Niente Winery; and Paul Telegdy, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment. Variety served as media partner, and Delta Air Lines and the Four Seasons Hotel contributed generously to the live auction.
For more information, contact Jacqueline Farina at: 310-794-7643