“Earth, Wind & Fire” Headlined the Night of Star-Studded Entertainment
Benefiting Cancer Research Clinical Trials

Schaumburg, Ill.  (November 19, 2017) – Gateway for Cancer Research (Gateway), a non-profit dedicated to funding transformational cancer research, raised $3.5 million at its 26th annual Cures Gala, “Gateway to OZ,” held on Saturday, November 18, 2017 in the Grand Ballroom at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The event was co-chaired and presented by Richard J Stephenson, founder and chairman of Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) and Gateway for Cancer Research and Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, CTCA Chairman of Functional Medicine and member of the Gateway Board of Directors; and honorary chair Jim Gordon, Founder & Managing Partner of The Edgewater Funds.

With more than 800 guests in attendance, teams of young dancers from Chicago’s Gus Giordano Dance School led the way down the Yellow Brick Road to an evening of star-studded entertainment worthy of the Emerald City, including performances by Matteo Bocelli, son of Andrea Bocelli, at his inaugural Chicago performance; Billy Gilman, the youngest singer to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts; Pia Toscano, American Idol finalist; and Laura Bretan, America’s Got Talent finalist and “Golden Buzzer” winner and opera singer. Guests danced the night away to a show-stopping performance by pop legends and event headliners, Earth, Wind & Fire.

“Gateway to Oz” showcased a number of the 57 clinical trials currently underway, including Dr. Nilofer Azad of Johns Hopkins University and her patient Rukhsana Siddiqi. Dr. Azad is conducting a trial on pancreatic adenocarcinoma and evaluating the benefits of a molecular therapy with epigenetic modulating drugs in high risk patients. The goal is to see a reduced reoccurrence of pancreatic cancer and reduced side effects for an improved quality of life. At the gala, Dr. Azad, Ms. Siddiqi and her family shared her success story from the Gateway-funded trial.

Guests enjoyed a custom culinary experience of OZ, inspired and designed by Chef Markus Ford. The epicurean journey began with Emerald City forest greens with compressed pickled honeydew, edamame mousse and basil mint emulsion; Ruby beet topped filet of beef with piquillo infused yams and red wine gastrique; and Yellow Brick Road golden butter genoise cremeux with golden delicious apple conserve and Goldschlager cremé.

Live auctions, with such extraordinary packages as The Gateway to OZ Experience in “Emerald City” Sydney, Australia and a priceless “Go Cubs Go” Meet & Greet opportunity with Chicago Cub Anthony Rizzo, were led by America’s premiere “auctiontainer” Letitia Frye. Exclusive silent auction packages included a Napa Valley Wine trip for two to four premier wineries; as well as an exquisite art-deco diamond bracelet. Individual tickets to the event were $1,000, and guests also had the opportunity to select higher level sponsorships.

Gateway for Cancer Research proudly acknowledges its premier sponsors: Mr. and Dr. Richard J Stephenson; Andi & Jim Gordon/The Edgewater Funds; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; The Richard Templer Family; Satter Foundation; Grund & Leavitt; KattenMuchinRosenman LLP; Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund; Rising Tide Foundation; Stellar Insurance, LTD; Thurston Family Foundation; CliftonLarsonAllen, International Capital & Management Company; and McGuireWoods.

Since Gateway for Cancer Research was founded 26 years ago, more than 3,600 patient lives in 150+ Gateway-funded clinical trials at institutions worldwide have been directly impacted, and many more cancer patients have benefited as a result of the critically important work. Proceeds from the event specifically support crucial Phase I and Phase II patient trials across all cancer types, including breast, blood, lung, brain, pancreatic and pediatric cancers.

99 cents of every dollar received directly funds cancer clinical trials


Current Gateway-funded clinical trials


Clinical trials funded at leading institutions worldwide


Funds one patient for one day at a Gateway-funded clinical trial


Mission Partners