2nd Annual Defeat DIPG Dream Big Gala Raises Over $435,000

The 2nd Annual Defeat DIPG Dream Big Gala, presented by DARCARS Automotive Group, took place on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda.  Thanks to our sponsors, attendees and other supporters, we are thrilled to report that we raised over $435,000. We are Dreaming Big for a cure for DIPG brain cancer, and these funds will help us make that dream a reality.

We looked out on a room of 450 people at the gala, and we felt a powerful sense of hope and determination.  With so many banding together to take on this horrible disease, we know that progress will be made.

We thank every DIPG family who allowed us to honor their child and especially those who attended, even knowing how difficult it can be on your already broken hearts. Three amazing DIPG families stood on stage and shared their stories with our guests, and it was their willingness to open their hearts that made the whole night.  We give our heartfelt thanks to Lauren Gibson, Tammi & Jason Carr, and Rich & Nancy Engler.  Dara, Chad, and Luke are an inspiration to us all.

Mitch Albom was unable to join us in person, but he took the time to send a powerful video about the beautiful Chika Jeune who fought DIPG so bravely.  The love he and his wife had for Chika shined through, and we were honored to have her story as part of the event.

We thank every person who spent the night at the gala, sponsored DIPG family tickets, bought auction items, and otherwise donated to our mission.

We thank our Gala Host Committee that poured endless hours into making this event a success:  Jacqueline Chan, Jenny Ellickson, Amy Elliott, Marguerite Laurent, Lori McGill, Amanda Posner, Amy Rogstad, and Jennifer Saulino.

We thank our Event Emcee Tommy McFly (TommyShow.com) and our generous sponsors:

  • PLATINUM “HOPE” SPONSORS:  PhRMA, [D3] District Design + Development, and NextGen LED
  • BAR “STARGAZER” SPONSOR:  Total Wine & More
  • GOLD “IMAGINE” SPONSORS:  Bayou Bakery, Good Stuff Eatery, and Hyatt Regency Bethesda
  • TABLE SPONSORS:  Ceros Financial Services, Inc., Children’s National Medical Center, Debevoise & Plimpton, Ernst & Young, FTI, Jack Silverman, DDS, K&L Gates, Next Level Rentals & Management, and Friends from Covington & Burling LLP.
  • IN-KIND SPONSORS:  CONTEND; Electra Entertainment; Sarah Marcella Creative; Barry Artistic Media Design; and BaseCamp DC
  • SUPPORTERS: Cynthia Schnedar & Mark Polston; Lewis Asset Management; Sports and Orthopaedic Therapy Services; Central Maryland Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, P.A.; Dominos; Scott Bilbrey; and Pepco

The Live Auction was run by the talented auctioneer Ernie Rogers and his team, who entertained the crowd and helped us raise some serious funds for DIPG research!  Thank you to all who donated incredible Live Auction packages, including Lauren Phillips & Family; Maggie O’Neill; Chef Michael Friedman of The Red Hen and All-Purpose DC; Chef Erik Bruner-Yang; Total Wine & More; Jackson Family Wines, and Hyatt Hotels.

We thank Michael for being our light and inspiration, along with each and every child who has confronted this disease.  Yes, we Dream Big.  But these kids deserve that and so much more.  Together, we will Defeat DIPG.


Save the Date:  the 3rd Annual Defeat DIPG Dream Big Gala will be on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at the North Bethesda Marriott.