Inaugural Defeat DIPG Dream Big Gala Raises Over $410,000

The Inaugural Defeat DIPG Dream Big Gala, presented by NextGen LED and District Design + Development was a tremendous success!  We are still tallying numbers and adding in the offline donations, but we are able to announce that thanks to our sponsors, attendees, and other supporters, the Dream Big Gala raised over $410,000! All proceeds from this magical night will be dedicated to the biggest dream we have: finding a cure for DIPG brain cancer.

The positive energy and passion in this room of 500 was simply incredible. We are blown away by your generosity and commitment to sticking with the fight to Defeat DIPG as long as it takes.  We are already looking forward to gathering together again in 2018.

We want to thank the participants in our program. Honorary Gala Chair Eric Holder, the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, delivered a passionate opening that set the stage for our program, and we were so grateful for his heartfelt remarks. Master of Ceremonies Tommy McFly kept our audience engaged with his warm and upbeat personality and expertly managed the program. Laurel Simer, the 1st recipient of the Michael Mosier Big Hero Award, captured everyone’s hearts with her incredibly inspiring story of fighting DIPG since she was 10 years old.

The Live Auction was run by the talented auctioneer Ernie Rogers, who did a truly fantastic job! We were so fortunate to have Jeff Hanson Art present for the event, with his beautiful one-of-a-kind painting, “That Night in Tuscany,” which generated an incredible $27,000 for DIPG research! Chef Spike Mendelsohn was a wonderful part of our program, representing Santa Rosa Taqueria, one of our Gold Imagine Sponsors, and auctioning off not one, but TWO, dinners for 12 that he will host at the restaurant… which generated another $16,000 to help find that cure!

We were so thankful for the design and production contributions of Lisa Barry, who truly raised the entire event to a different level with her graphics and special touches. Thank you to Rob Poznanski and Contend for their incredible production of the moving event video that shared the stories of children with DIPG and why we have hope that we are going to beat this monstrous disease.

Thank you, also to the other contributors to our Live Auction, including Lauren Phillips & Family; Maggie O’Neill, National Association of Broadcasters/The LeGeyt Family; John Carlson; Jacoba & Marshall Urist; and Jen Dokas.

We are so grateful to the sponsors and in-kind donors who supported the Defeat DIPG® Dream Big Gala and the fight for a cure for DIPG brain tumors. Please take note of their generosity, support their businesses, and let them know how much you notice and appreciate their work to Defeat DIPG!

Presenting “Visionary” Sponsors
Nextgen Partners/NextGen LED
District Design + Development

Gold “Imagine” Sponsors
DARCARS Automotive Group
Whole Foods Market
Santa Rosa Taqueria

Table Sponsors
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Greenleaf Health
K&L Gates
Washington Metro Homes/Asif Qadir

Dominos Team Washington
Next Level Rentals LLC
Sports and Orthopaedic Therapy Services, LLC
Regina Dinisio Spallina, Rodan & Fields, Independent Consultant
Bashi & Roger Packer
Sharis & Thorn Pozen
The Seitz-McLeese Family
The van Agtmael Charitable Foundation
Jason & Katie Yanushonis

Photography: KaGe Photography & Sarah Marcella Photography

DJ: Electra Entertainment

Event Video: Contend

Event Production/Content Design: Barry Aristic/Lisa Barry

Programs: In Touch Printing

Signage: BaseCamp DC