(Release provided courtesy of
Entertainment Industry Foundation)
BEVERLY HILLS – February 11, 2009 – Honorees Gwyneth Paltrow and Courteney Cox were joined by hosts Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, and guests Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Meyer and Tobey Maguire, Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn, Josh Groban, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin, Kirk Douglas, and others at last night’s annual Saks Fifth Avenue’s Unforgettable Evening, benefiting the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund (EIF’s WCRF).
This year marked the 14th anniversary of the event which raises funds for innovative research. As a surprise announcement, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® made a $1.5 million gift to support scientists who are part of the EIF/WCRF Breast Cancer Biomarker Discovery Project, an ambitious and collaborative scientific effort to develop a blood test that will detect breast cancer in its beginning stages, when it can be cured.
Both Cox and Paltrow were recognized for their dedication to cancer causes. Presented to her by a dear friend who has battled ovarian cancer, Cox received the Nat King Cole Award in recognition for her dedication to helping people, especially those near to her who have battled cancer.
Paltrow was honored with the 2009 Courage Award for her unwavering commitment to cancer prevention. This past year Paltrow served as ambassador for EIF and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key To The Cure campaign, appearing in a nationwide public service announcement to raise funds and awareness for women’s cancers. She, with her mother Blythe Danner and brother Jake Paltrow, have established the Bruce Paltrow Fund in memory of her father to prevent oral cancer through public education and patient support.
“Through the EIF/WCRF Breast Cancer Biomarker Discovery Project, we have brought together the best scientific minds in the country to lead the way to create a blood test to detect breast cancer.” said Dr. Rick Klausner, Chair of the EIF/WCRF Biomarker Discovery Project Oversight Committee and former Director of the National Cancer Institute. “The key to this project’s success has been collaboration. This generous gift from Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a true testament, not only to this teamwork, but to the promise of this crucial research.”
“Finding an easy-to-use method to detect breast cancer early would be a stunning breakthrough for women all over the world,” said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “If we catch it early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 98 percent. Imagine women in poor and remote communities, both here in the U.S. and globally, getting a simple blood test to spot breast cancer at a very early stage. Imagine how many more lives could be saved. That’s why Susan G. Komen for the Cure collaborates with groups like the Entertainment Industry Foundation to support the EIF/WCRF Biomarker Discovery Project. We’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars to find a cure. And we won’t stop until we find it. This is another important step.”
In total, more than $2.5 million was raised which will support the EIF/WCRF Project as well as two local NCI-accredited medical institutions: UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Founded by co-chairs Kelly Meyer, Anne Douglas, Quinn Ezralow, Marion Laurie and Jamie Tisch, the Women’s Cancer Research Fund is committed to saving lives by raising funds and awareness for the millions of women and their families at risk for, or affected by cancer. The goal is to advance leading-edge science by supporting the efforts of the nation's foremost investigators and advocates of women's cancer research.
About EIF’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund
The Women’s Cancer Research Fund, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, was established by Chairs Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, along with Founders Kelly Chapman Meyer, Anne Douglas, Quinn Ezralow, Marion Laurie and Jamie Tisch. The Fund supports innovative research, education, and outreach directed at the development of more effective approaches to the early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all women’s cancers.
About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
As the philanthropic leader of the entertainment industry, the Entertainment Industry Foundation has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars – and provided countless volunteer hours – to support charitable initiatives addressing some of the most critical issues facing society today. Visit eifoundation.org
About Saks Fifth Avenue
Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the world’s preeminent specialty retailers, is renowned for its superlative American and international designer collections, its expertly edited assortment of handbags, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics and gifts, and the first-rate fashion expertise and exemplary client service of its Associates. Today, Saks operates 53 full-line stores in 25 states, 5 licensed stores in the Middle East and 1 licensed store in Mexico City, 51 Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH stores and saks.com, the company’s online store.