The Kristen Ann Carr Fund’s 2022 gala, featuring John Mellencamp and honoree John Sykes, set a new fundraising record, raising $1.35 million for sarcoma research and treatment, the organization announced Thursday.
It announced the addition of two new fellows to its training program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: Surgical Oncology Fellow Drs. George Lee and Medical Oncology Fellow Dr. Carly Rosemore
Called “A Night to Remember,” the gala has been an annual tradition for 29 years, featuring an honorarium, live music and a premium auction. This year, The Fund honored John Sykes, president of entertainment initiatives for iHeartMedia and featured a special guest performance by John Mellencamp. It was hosted by Drew Nieporent of Tribeca Grill’s Countless Restaurant Group for the 17th year.
“The Kristen Ann Carr Fund has made such real advances in sarcoma research and treatment through its partnership with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and I could not be more honored to play a role in that important legacy,” said Sykes. “To be introduced to my friend, John Mellencamp, to perform in such an intimate setting was the icing on the cake.”
“Over the years, our circle of friends and loyal supporters has expanded beyond what we ever imagined,” added Barbara Carr, co-founder of KACF, whose daughter died just two years after being diagnosed with sarcoma. “I would like to sincerely thank John Sykes for his generosity and dedication to The Fund since our inception, as well as all the sponsors and volunteers who helped make this A Night to Remember such a huge success.”
The auction raised more than $500,000, with the top item being a Telecaster guitar played by Bruce Springsteen numerous times in 2019, including on A Night to Remember with the revered Danny Clinch, which sold for $41,000. Springsteen headlined the organization’s inaugural benefit concert at Madison Square Garden.
Entering its 30th year, to date, the fund has funded more than 35 doctors to study sarcoma cancer at MSK. Dr. Lee was a Surgical Research Fellow at MSK from 2016 to 2018, investigating novel targeted therapies in laboratory models of soft tissue sarcomas with Dr. Sam Singer. Dr. Rosemore is a third-year pediatric fellow who focuses on the study and treatment of patients with rare pediatric solid tumors. His future goals are to focus on the care of pediatric patients and lead early-stage clinical trials that will lead to innovative advances in the treatment of these childhood sarcomas.
In addition to its fellowship programs, KAFC has created a dedicated sarcoma laboratory, several grants for former KACF fellows, hosted holiday parties for the MSK pediatric department, and more. As previously mentioned, it is nearing completion of its $10 million fundraising commitment for the Kristen Ann Carr Center for Sarcoma Treatment and Research—a project designed to significantly expand doctors’ ability to make advances both in the lab and in patient care. Go here for more information.