Gala raises $309K for cancer research

Published on Thursday, 4 September 2014 20:47 - Written by Emily Guevara eguevara@tylerpaper.com

The 27th Annual Tyler Cattle Barons’ Gala raised $309,266 for the American Cancer Society. The funds will go toward cancer research and education.

The gala co-chairmen announced the total during a wrap-party on Thursday at the home of Victoria and Jerry Ashworth.

Gala co-chairman Brian Merritt thanked all in attendance for their work on the event.

“This is the culmination of a yearlong process,” he said. “It’s a celebration of the work that you as committee members put in.”

Katherine Espinoza, the American Cancer Society’s senior manager of distinguished events, thanked Merritt, his wife Tanya, and fellow co-chairmen Jason and Melissa Braswell, for their work.

“We certainly could not do everything we do at the American Cancer Society without the help of you all,” she said. “We appreciate everything your group did.”

Research is at the core of the American Cancer Society’s mission. The society funds and conducts cancer research, works with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and promotes access to quality, affordable health care, according to its website.

Those associated with Cattle Barons aim to help fund research and educate those affected by cancer about the services available to them at the local American Cancer Society office.

“I think we accomplished a lot,” Merritt said. “Our mission was to raise money and raise awareness and I think we accomplished both of those goals.”

The society’s goal for its galas is that they raise at least $100,000 so this fundraiser exceeded that target by far.

“It’s another great year for us as far as fundraising goes,” Ms. Espinoza said.

The American Cancer Society relies on its volunteer to be effective and prides itself on being in all communities, she said.

“Everything we do depends on raising this money,” she said.

The American Cancer Society is the largest non-governmental funder of cancer research and has funded the work of 47 Nobel laureate recipients, she said.

The 2015 Cattle Barons’ Gala is scheduled for June 13.