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Peggy Carrington, Cora Sue Mach honor Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Dr. Kent Osborne during the Café Society Soiree.

The 2017 Partnership for Baylor College of Medicine gala event, themed Café Society Soiree, raised money to support cancer research being conducted at Baylor’s NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The event, chaired by Cora Sue and Harry Mach, welcomed more than 270 guests on April 7 to the Briar Club to enjoy the evening’s festivities, including cocktails, dinner and an auction of unique prizes, all for a good cause. In true Café Society fashion, Richard Flowers and The Events Company designed the event to take guests back in time to the days of the Stork Club.

With more than 700 members, the Partnership is Baylor College of Medicine’s largest volunteer civic and philanthropic organization. The money raised through Café Society Soiree will aid in the establishment of an adult phase 1 clinical trial unit, which is crucial in furthering the understanding of how cancers behave, grow and respond to potential treatments.

The mistress of ceremonies, Lisa Malosky, emceed the evening’s program, welcoming Peggy Carrington, president of the Partnership, Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of the College, the Machs and Dr. Kent Osborne, director of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center and gala honoree.

“Events such as Café Society Soiree are critical in raising the resources for developing a new program in the Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, such as the Experimental Therapeutics Phase 1 Program, which will benefit patients throughout Houston, and beyond. I am honored to have been recognized at the gala and would like to thank all of the dedicated volunteers and supporters who organized and attended the event,” Osborne said.

The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor has a large focus on developing and enrolling patients in phase 1 clinical trials, which would not be possible without the tireless work done by cancer researchers at Baylor or the endless support of its partners.

“The Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center has incredible depth and breadth in cancer research, patient care, outreach, prevention and educational programs, and under Kent’s leadership, these elements come together to provide compassionate, individualized care coupled with innovative research,” Klotman said. “The support the Partnership has provided through this event will help to continue to advance cancer research programs that will lead to discoveries that will improve the care of cancer patients.”

Phase I clinical trials, or trials in which a brand new drug is first given to a human, are the initial steps in bringing novel treatments to the clinical setting. Such studies are restricted to a few centers of excellence possessing the knowledge, experience and dedicated team to focus on this kind of research, where patients can be closely monitored.

“Our goal with this year’s gala was to raise awareness for a critical piece of the cancer research process, a phase 1 clinical trial, and to help launch such a program to further our understanding of the disease,” said Harry Mach.

“We are overwhelmed and so grateful for the support of members of the Partnership and the Houston community who joined us for Café Society Soiree and helped to make it such a success,” Cora Sue Mach added.

In total, the Café Society Soiree raised $420,332, exceeding the fundraising goal set by the Partnership. Other gala attendees included Jan Duncan, John Nau, president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors, LP, Gay Nord, president of CHI St. Luke’s Health – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Dr. Mary Klotman, Dr. Carolina Gutierrez, Joella and Steven Mach, Carmen and Butch Mach, Pat and Harold Korell, Connie and James Haddox and Karen Fox.

Visit the Partnership's website to learn more about their advocacy, volunteerism and philanthropic support for the College. See more photos from the event