The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation hosted a fundraising cruise on June 19th aboard Chicago's Leading Lady. Premier catering partners Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! and Mon Ami Gabi provided delicious eats and two full-service bars kept the beverages flowing. We connected with their Executive Director, Katie Hurley Wales (pictured below), to learn more about the foundation and why they chose to host their event with us.Photos: Dennis Lee Photography
1. In a couple of sentences, tell us about The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation.
Founded in 1999 after the sudden passing of Harold "Hal" Eisenberg from liver cancer, the Harold E. Eisenberg is dedicated to advancing cancer medicine by funding breakthrough gastrointestinal cancer research. We also honor Harold's legacy as a mentor and true believer in the value of education by providing students with hands-on, experienced-based programs aimed to catapult their career paths.
2. What is something happening with the Foundation you are excited about?
We recently committed $1.5 million, the largest gift in the history of the foundation, to fund the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation's GI Cancer OncoSET program at the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern. This is an unprecedented initiative to deliver personalized, effective cancer treatments to patients who currently have very limited options. It's a cutting-edge program that is making huge advances both in cancer medicine and in the lives of individual patients.
We recently met a patient in her 30's battling colorectal cancer. Her tumors had metastasized and her prognosis was not good. After having her genes sequenced and evaluated through this program, her doctors were able to identify a common mutation for which there is actually a treatment path...and it is working! Her tumors are shrinking and she is doing great. Without this program, she would have faced a very different outcome. There is nothing more meaningful than meeting a survivor and knowing that we are contributing to work that is saving lives.
3. Why did you choose Chicago's First Lady Cruises as the venue for your event?
We have worked with Chicago's First Lady Cruises three years in a row. Everyone we've worked with has been so accommodating and generous. The crew is fantastic and the boats are awesome. Our guests rave about the experience every year.
4. What was a highlight of your cruise event?
There is nothing like seeing the city from the water, whether it be from the Chicago River or Lake Michigan. What an amazing backdrop for a special event. Our guests had a blast and we raised almost $20,000 towards our mission!
A tremendous thank you to The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation for choosing to cruise with us! What an honor to be part of your worthy mission and work!