STAMFORD, Conn. -- A cancer diagnosis is upsetting for any family, but particularly so when a child is involved. An upcoming gala in Stamford, sponsored in part by The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s in Darien, will raise money to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to find cures for childhood cancer.
The gala will be held on Sunday, May 29, at the Stamford Marriott. Tickets are $100, and there will be a silent and live auctions, comedy, dance performances and entertainment. Luz Otero and Luis Lopez of Connecticut Salsa Fest are hosting the event for the seventh consecutive year. The Waters Edge at Giovanni’s owners JoAnn and Sal Latorraca are among the local businesses supporting the event.
“We are proud to support this cause and help the fight against childhood cancer,’’ JoAnn said. “It is one of the most devastating cancers for families to fight. Young girls and boys with cancer face undeserved struggles, and we’re grateful to help make this event a success.”
Leukemia, Hodgkin Disease, non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and brain and spinal cord tumors are among the most common types of childhood cancers, according to cancer.org. More than 10,000 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016, according to the website, and nearly 1,250 children under the age of 15 are expected to die this year. It is the second leading cause of death, behind accidents, among children under 15.
Survival rates are increasing, however, with 80 percent of children with cancer now surviving for five years or more. That represents a huge increase from the mid 1970s, when the survival rate was 58 percent.
The gala has raised approximately $100,000, including $20,000 last year. St. Jude receives 100 percent of silent auction and donation proceeds from the gala, and 70 percent of fundraiser ticket sales.
“This is a fun, worthwhile event for a serious medical issue,’’ Latorraca said. “We are hopeful the community can come join us and support this wonderful cause.”
The gala is part of a three-day Salsa Fest organized by Otero and Lopez. For more information and to purchase gala tickets, click here to visit the event website.