Last weekend, flappers and gangsters arrived in vintage cars to dance the night away at Sanford-Burnham’s gala—Speakeasy: Hidden in Plain Sight. The gala raised $2.2 million to support biomedical research at Sanford-Burnham.
This year’s gala was held at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, where the ballroom was transformed into a Prohibition-era dance hall. Malin Burnham, T. Denny Sanford, and Conrad Prebys were honorary chairs. Life Technologies was the presenting sponsor, thanks to CEO Greg Lucier, Chairman of the Sanford-Burnham Board of Trustees.
A live auction featured a trip to famed Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry aboard a private jet and a laboratory internship with Sanford-Burnham CEO Dr. John Reed. So many guests were eager to bid that several auction items were sold more than once. The Fund-a-Need segment gave attendees the opportunity to support young researchers at Sanford-Burnham and raised $610,000.
Later, there was a bit of excitement as “policemen” raided the party to arrest the three honorary chairs for running an illegal speakeasy. Jeanne and Gary Herberger, generous Sanford-Burnham donors, surprised the crowd with a $1 million pledge to support biomedical research and “bail out” Sanford, Burnham and Prebys.
At a time when philanthropic giving is down nationally, Sanford-Burnham has continued to put together successful events to draw visionary supporters who believe strongly in the value of biomedical research. The Institute is extremely grateful to its generous donors.
Next year’s gala, which will celebrate Sanford-Burnham’s 35th anniversary, will take place on October 15, 2011. Jeanne and Gary Herberger will chair, with Jeanne Jones and Don Breitenberg, and Martin and Pam Wygod will be the honorary chairs.