The Joe Andruzzi Foundation Celebrates Five Years of Helping Cancer Patients and Families with Annual New England Celebrities Tackle Cancer Gala

Boston sports stars and celebrities to join three-time Super Bowl champion Joe Andruzzi at signature benefit on December 3, 2012 at Gillette Stadium

The New England Celebrities Tackle Cancer Gala will fill Gillette Stadium with laughter, hope and inspiration on Monday, December 3, as the Joe Andruzzi Foundation (JAF) and guests celebrate five years of successful fundraising for cancer patients and their families.


Joe Andruzzi, cancer survivor and JAF President, and his wife Jen, JAF Executive Director, will bring together supporters, celebrities and athletes, including current and former Patriots players, for a record-breaking fundraiser. All proceeds raised through the event will go toward helping the Joe Andruzzi Foundation provide more cancer patients with financial assistance, as well as supporting pediatric brain cancer research.


Individual tickets to the fifth annual gala are available exclusively at JAFGala.org.  Information regarding a limited number of remaining sponsorship packages is available online, or by contacting the Foundation directly at 774-284-4694 or emailinggala@joeandruzzifoundation.org.


The Andruzzis draw from their personal experience with cancer to fulfill JAF’s mission: bringing fun and humor to families during treatment, while providing critical financial and emotional support. Marking the event’s fifth anniversary, this year’s gala will embody the Foundation’s new rallying cry – (Up)Beat Cancer  –  as it takes over Gillette Stadium’s Putnam Club for the first time. Guests will enjoy sweeping views of the Patriots’ home field, where Joe once stood on the offensive in a different type of battle against his NFL opponents. Scott Zolak, a former Patriot and 98.5 The Sports Hub Midday Host/Patriots Color Analyst, will lend his support as the evening’s emcee while Boston radio & television personality Billy Costa will serve as the event’s live auctioneer.


Other local celebrities and athletes who rally around the Foundation’s mission include current and former Patriots players Tom BradyMatt LightTroy BrownKevin FaulkJerod MayoRob GronkowskiRob NinkovichWes Welkerand Danny Woodhead; television and radio personalities Greg HillLisa Hughes and Bianca de la Garza; and comedianLenny Clarke, all of whom join a host of other supporters on the gala’s honorary committee. Together with JAF friends, volunteers, donors and grant recipients, they will help the Foundation mark two major milestones: the gala’s fifth year and Joe Andruzzi’s fifth anniversary of living cancer-free.


The evening will feature a special symposium, cocktail hour, dinner, and speaking program, along with live and silent auctions offering priceless sports memorabilia, in-demand Boston sports tickets, and luxury dining, spa, entertainment and travel packages.


“This has been a monumental year for the Foundation; we’re blessed to help more cancer patients and provide more support for research at Boston Children’s Hospital than ever before,” Joe Andruzzi said. “But helping more people requires additional support from our community, and we plan to make this year’s gala our best yet.  We’re honored to once again invite our friends and supporters to join us for this fun and heart-warming benefit in hopes of raising significant funds to help families with their bills during treatment. Jen and I know the cancer battle all too well, and every little bit truly helps.”


The evening kicks off at 5 p.m. with a symposium prior to the gala, which will feature “Caring for the Caregiver” a presentation sponsored by Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company and led by ambassadors of the biopharmaceutical leader. Lisa Marquette Porat, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, President of ILP Solutions, Inc., will also lend her expertise to the session. A discussion on molecular advancements in the treatment of brain tumors will follow, led byDr. Peter Manley, Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Outcome Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Admission to the symposium is open to those attending the gala.


The official celebration begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, during which guests can buy footballs to be autographed by Patriots players, bid on silent auction items and enjoy delicious culinary offerings. A live auction and speaking program, featuring Joe Andruzzi and Foundation beneficiaries, will follow.


“Last year, our gala raised more than $325,000 for the Foundation’s financial assistance program and the CJ Buckley Pediatric Brain Cancer Research Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital,” Jen Andruzzi said. “We’re aiming even higher this year. This cause is so close to our hearts, and so important to everyone in our family and community. There is such a great need for financial assistance during cancer treatment, and we want to help as many patients and families as possible.”


Since its inception in 2008, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation has provided grants to more than 300 cancer patients and families, assisting with rent, mortgage and utility payments so caregivers and patients can remain focused on treatment. It has also donated more than $300,000 to Dr. Mark Kieran, at Boston Children’s Hospital, to help fund pediatric brain cancer research. The Foundation also sponsors upbeat outings for patients and families, and Andruzzi is a regular visitor at Boston Children’s Hospital and other cancer facilities.


The Fifth Annual New England Celebrities Tackle Cancer Gala welcomes many returning and new supporters, including Presenting Sponsor Credit Union Kids at Heart, MVP Sponsor Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company and Touchdown Sponsors The Home Depot, CVS Caremark and East Commerce Solutions Inc., among many others.


For more information on the Joe Andruzzi Foundation and the Fifth Annual New England Celebrities Tackle Cancer Gala, please visit www.joeandruzzifoundation.org.


About The Joe Andruzzi Foundation

The Joe Andruzzi Foundation was founded in 2008 to assist cancer patients and their families with critical mortgage, rent and utility payments during financially-challenging times, and to fund pediatric brain cancer research. (Up)Beat Cancer is the Foundation’s rallying cry, as it strives to provide patients with hope, laughter, fun and inspiration – as well as social and emotional support – during and after cancer treatment.  Joe Andruzzi, a former offensive guard with the New England Patriots, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in 2007 and was treated at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Disease-free less than a year later and inspired by the strength and humor of patients he’d visited as a player, Joe dedicated his life to supporting other cancer patients and funding life-saving research. The Joe Andruzzi Foundation is Joe and his wife Jen’s second philanthropic effort; in 2003, they started the C.J. Buckley Brain Cancer Research Fund at Boston Children’s Hospital in memory of C.J. Buckley, a young man with an inoperable brain tumor who touched their hearts before losing his battle in 2002. The fund supports much-needed, innovative research into the molecular nature of pediatric brain tumors, novel treatment therapies and alternatives to multiple surgeries. The aim is to contribute to the growing knowledge base of available brain cancer cures, making treatment more widely available to all.


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