The 2019 CenterStage gala raises $2.5 million for groundbreaking research taking place at the Mass General Cancer Center.

A “wintry mix” in Boston, Massachusetts, was no match for the 275 guests who came out on Dec. 3, 2019, for the second annual CenterStage gala in support of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. The gala celebrates Mass General’s progress in the fight against cancer and honors the amazing people who help make it possible. It also raises funds for the work that remains.

Funds raised at CenterStage play a key role in bringing bold breakthroughs from the laboratory to patients’ bedsides.

This year’s CenterStage gala took place at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. Eileen and Jack Connors, Jr. and Jessica and Sam Slater co-chaired the event. The gala raised $2.5 million for research at the Mass General Cancer Center, a global leader in innovative cancer research. Funds raised at CenterStage play a key role in bringing bold breakthroughs from the laboratory to patients’ bedsides.

A Unique Experience

The gala was designed to give guests an opportunity to experience a number of exquisite settings at the MFA. They included the William I. Koch Gallery and the Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard.

Throughout the evening, guests played “Revolutions for Change,” an interactive game of chance, where giant board game pieces rotated to reveal a painting by Jonathan Zuker.

Mr. Zuker’s work is displayed in the Mass General Cancer Center as part of the Illuminations Program, a rotating art exhibit designed to enhance the environment of care and reflect the diversity of communities served. He is also the Mass General Cancer Center’s artist-in-residence. He conducts demonstrations where he paints and interacts with patients, families, volunteers and staff.

Down to Business

The gala program featured remarks by Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD, director, Mass General Cancer Center. Dr. Haber spoke about the development of personalized cancer medicine, early-detection technologies and innovative supportive care programs. “As a cancer center embedded within a world-class general hospital, we are uniquely positioned to confront complex cases, while partnering with our patients in the development of new and more effective treatments,” Dr. Haber said.

David P. Ryan, MD, clinical director, Mass General Cancer Center, and chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, introduced a powerful video that focused on the multidisciplinary Severe Immunotherapy Complications Service at Mass General. The effort brings together expertise from across the institution to identify and care for affected patients, and to solve the mystery of sometimes irreversible side effects. Kerry L. Reynolds, MD, the program’s director also shared a poignant story about a patient.

The Mass General Cancer Center comprises more than 37 treatment programs within 29 fully integrated, multidisciplinary disease centers.

Remembering to Celebrate

One of the most important aspects of the CenterStage gala is its focus on celebrating the research advances the Mass General Cancer Center has made. And this year’s event did not disappoint. Singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield brought energy to the room with her rich setlist that included acoustic renditions of “These Words,” “Unwritten,” and “Pocketful of Sunshine.” She also performed a passionate cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

About the Mass General Cancer Center

The Mass General Cancer Center provides customized, innovative treatments and compassionate care to both adults and children. It comprises more than 37 treatment programs within 29 fully integrated, multidisciplinary disease centers and a vast array of support and educational services. Its network of affiliations extends throughout New England and the southeastern U.S. Its commitment to eradicating cancer is fueled by scientific investigation conducted as part of one of the largest hospital-based research programs in the nation. Through a powerful synergy between laboratory scientists and bedside physicians, it fosters innovation in all phases of cancer research. Physician investigators conduct nearly 400 clinical trials annually.

To learn more about research at the Mass General Cancer Center or to make a donation, please contact us.