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Event Raises More Than $500,000 for Cancer Research
Posted Date: 5/5/2010 4:00 PM

Ryan Seacrest (l) and Ted HarbertThe signature fundraiser for UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation raised more than $500,000 to support highest priority research designed to result in newer, more effective and less toxic treatments for cancer.

The event, the 15th annual “Taste for a Cure,” was held April 30, 2010 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and honored Comcast Entertainment Group President and Chief Executive Officer Ted Harbert with the Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award.

Event co-chairs were Barbara Fairchild, Jon Holman, Larry Maguire, Jay Sures, and Dana Walden. “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest served as honorary co-chair and presented the Award to Ted Harbert. David Boreanaz introduced celebrity auctioneer Kevin Pollak, who conducted a live auction. An online auction is continuing here. Lifehouse’s Jason Wade and Rick Woolstenhulme gave a special acoustic performance to end the event.

This year’s event, a high-end wine and food tasting reception, celebrated the wines of Stags Leap district, world renowned for its signature Cabernet Sauvignons. Each of the 15 participating wineries from the district poured a Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2006 appellation collection, set to release in October 2010. Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce, long-time event supporting wineries, served as honorary wine partners.

Featured eateries exemplifying the downtown restaurant revival included Bottega Louie, Church & State, Lazy Ox Canteen, Patina and Rivera. Since its inception, the event has featured the best in food, wine and entertainment in support of the fight against cancer.

“As successful as Ted Harbert is in creating quality entertainment, he has never lost sight of the power of giving back,” said Judith C. Gasson, director of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “His support of numerous philanthropic causes and his dedication to improving the lives of others embodies all of those qualities that exemplify the Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award.”

The award was created in memory of foundation event supporter Gil Nickel, proprietor of Napa Valley's Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce wineries, who lost his battle against melanoma in October 2003.

Comcast Entertainment Group, the world’s largest producer and distributor of entertainment news and lifestyle-related programming, includes E! Entertainment Television, the Style Network, G4, Comcast International Media Group and Comcast Entertainment Productions. Harbert also is board president for the Friends of the Saban Free Clinic, and a member of the boards for City Year LA, the Paley Center of Media, the Hollywood Radio and Television Society and the executive committee of Boston University’s School of Communications.

The Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, founded in 1945, is the single most important vehicle for raising private funds for cancer research at UCLA. UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center is ranked among the nation's top 12 cancer centers by U.S. News & World Report. Jonsson Cancer Center researchers are recognized as international leaders in the discovery of new and better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer.

For information on UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, please visit For information on Taste for a Cure, please visit To bid online for auction items, please visit these links: 

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2009, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named among the top 12 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for 10 consecutive years. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at

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