Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Honored Thomas D. Gordon at 2015 Annual Gala
Jay Leno Hosted; Kristin Chenoweth Headlined. Over $1.4 Million Raised
The Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors hosted its 2015 Annual Gala Oct. 13, 2015 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills. More than 1,000 guests at the sold-out event honored Thomas D. Gordon, retiring CEO of Cedars-Sinai Medical Network Services. Event Co-Chairs were Paul Guerin and John Bendheim.
Two-time Emmy winner and recent recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Jay Leno, served as emcee and provided the evening’s non-stop laughs. “In the last decade alone,” said Leno, “the Board of Governors has committed $100 million to fund lifesaving research. $100 million or, as Trump calls it, ‘lunch money’.”
Leno went on to describe the groundbreaking achievements of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute (RMI). “Too many lives are touched by Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, stroke, brain cancer and lung cancer… just to name a very few of the debilitating diseases in desperate need of research.”
Evening Co-Chair John Bendheim and Vera Guerin, Chair, Board of Directors, recognized the advancements of Cedars-Sinai scientists in pioneering life-changing stem cell research. Guerin shared that the evening’s gala had raised more than $1.3 million. He also noted that in total, almost $15 million had been raised by the Board of Governors in the first year and a half of their Regenerative Medicine Institute Campaign. He predicted, “We will make our goal of $30 million over the next five years!”
Bendheim singled out the generosity of Lexus in providing a 2016 Lexus LX570 for the event’s auction. This marks the 11th consecutive year of Lexus’ participation. Michael Rouse, Vice President of Diversity, Philanthropy and Community Affairs for Toyota, spoke briefly of the importance of the partnership between Lexus and the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors.
Chair of the Board of Governors Ruth Dunn welcomed guests and paid special recognition to Dr. Clive Svendsen, PhD, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute, for his “leadership, vision and partnership.”
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Board of Governors 2015 Humanitarian Award to Tom Gordon, presented by Tom Priselac, President and CEO, Cedars-Sinai Health System. Gordon was honored for his more than 21 years of contributions to the Cedars-Sinai family.
Following dinner, Leno returned to the stage to auction off three exclusive prize packages, including a Crystal Cruise from Istanbul to Rome; VIP tickets to the NARAS Music Cares Tribute to Lionel Richie and tickets to the Golden Globes; and an exclusive tour of Leno’s private garage.
Tony-and-Emmy-winning Kristin Chenoweth dazzled the crowd with her renditions “Over the Rainbow,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Moon River” and “Popular,” one of the songs she first performed on Broadway in her Tony-winning role in Wicked.
About the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors
Established in 1971, the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors is a diverse community of donors and leaders committed to supporting the medical center by providing financial resources, educational experiences for its members and volunteer opportunities. For more information on how to get involved with the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors, please call