Cancer Center Celebrates 20 Years of Service

2005 Annual Greenbrier Gala Salutes Organizers


Tucker Carlson


WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va.— West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center will celebrate its 20th Annual Greenbrier Gala April 22-23.  The event is the single largest fund-raiser for the Cancer Center.

The featured speaker at this year’s gala will be Tucker Carlson, host of Tucker Carlson Unfiltered on PBS and a prime-time show on MSNBC.  The bow-tied conservative, political analyst will talk about “The Political Landscape” at 11 a.m. on Saturday,

April 22.

Mary Ann Esposito, renowned chef and creator and host of the PBS series, Ciao Italia, will create the menu for Friday evening’s reception and dinner at 7 p.m.  She’ll also conduct a culinary demonstration on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The unique fund-raising event also includes golf, tennis and sporting clay tournaments, and will culminate with a black tie dinner dance featuring the sounds of the Benny Benack Swing Band at 8:30 Saturday evening.

The 2005 gala will pay tribute to the birth of the Cancer Center and those whose vision made it a reality. In 1986 Dr. Richard DeVaul, then dean of the WVU School of Medicine, approached Jean DeLynn, Rita Solomon and Gayle Swanson of Morgantown to organize the first statewide fund-raising extravaganza at The Greenbrier for the state cancer center to be built in Morgantown.

“It was a pie-in-the-sky idea,” said Swanson.  “No dirt had even been turned over when we were approached to organize the Gala,” said DeLynn. “It grew by leaps and bounds,” stated Solomon. The trio worked diligently for a year planning the fund-raiser “Only the Best … For West Virginia’s Cancer Center.” 

The threesome received overwhelming support by individuals and companies who underwrote the entire event.  The Greenbrier donated its facilities and noted chefs from around the world followed suit, charging nothing for their gourmet demonstrations.

Various dignitaries, including former U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph, were on hand.  The cancer center is named for his late wife who died of cancer. 

U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd praised DeLynn, Swanson and Solomon for “launching the drive to gain the funds needed to give the state a first class program in the war against cancer.” 

Organizers dubbed the first gala weekend a resounding success.  They exceeded their goal, raising $165,000, and decided to make the fund-raiser an annual event.  In 1990, the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center opened its doors and continues to be the state’s premier cancer facility.

Registration for this year’s Gala is $250 per person.  Accommodations are available through The Greenbrier.  For more information and to arrange interviews with participants, call the Cancer Center at (304) 293-4599.

- WVU -

For more information:
Sherry Stoneking, Cancer Center, (304) 293-4599

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