Hundreds of members of the Deal community came to show their support of the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) at the annual “Evening of Inspiration” on July 19, made possible through the generosity of hosts Debbie and Asher Zamir, in memory of Sarah Massry(a’h), Sharon Betesh(a’h), and Isaac Zamir(a’h). More than $550,000 was raised to support Israel’s life-saving cancer research.
Ariela Ben-Dayan, Samantha Harary, Charles Ben-Dayan and Lisa Oved were the evening’s chairpersons.
Harry Adjmi, Master of Ceremonies, thanked the Zamirs for opening their home and urged the community to demonstrate their support of ICRF. “Cancer does not discriminate. It affects us all. ICRF research has yielded new life-saving drugs and therapies that are used globally to help eradicate many types of cancer,” he said.
Adjmi also expressed his appreciation to Ariela and Charles Ben- Dayan who introduced ICRF to the Deal community, giving its members an opportunity to “have a seat at the table” in the fight for a cure.
A poignant highlight of the benefit included inspirational speaker Sam Fields, a former professional hockey player and 15-year cancer survivor, thanks to Gleevec, a drug developed based on the research of ICRF-funded scientists. “I was given two weeks to live. The research of Dr. Eli Canaani saved my life. Thank you ICRF from the bottom of my heart,” Fields said.
Dr. Mark Israel, the recently appointed International Executive Director of ICRF, spoke about his experience reviewing grant proposals for ICRF as a member of the Scientific Review Panel. “Israel is poised to change the face of cancer around the world. What is missing are sufficient resources. We can build the future if we can provide the resources,” he noted.
Dr. Israel reminded the guests that they have a special zechut (privilege) to help treat cancer. “Israel is the place to do the research. Its scientists have the commitment and the grit.”
Before the fundraising appeal commenced, ICRF President Rob Densen, looked at the crowd and remarked: “How beautiful is this community? Hold your children and your grandchildren in your hearts and do something magnificent for them and their future.” With that, Adjmi rallied the guests and the pledges started to roll in.
The evening closed with a spectacular runway show of the collections of Brooklyn-born fashion designer Rosie Assoulin, featuring models from the community. The crowd showed their overwhelming approval of the local designer.
The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) was founded in 1975 by a group of American and Canadian physicians, scientists and lay leaders who sought to prevent the permanent loss of Israel’s most promising cancer researchers to foreign universities due to the lack of funding in Israel for Ph.D. s, post-doctoral fellows and accomplished young scientists. Since its founding, the organization has awarded more than 2,400 grants to Israeli cancer researchers via fellowships, project grants, career development awards and professorships. With the grants for 2018/2019, ICRF’s funding has now surpassed the $68 million mark!