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"Taste for a Cure" Event Raises More Than $500,000 to Fund Highest Priority Cancer Research
Posted Date: 4/19/2011 12:45 PM

JCCC Director Judith Gasson, Ph.D. (l to r), with honoree David Nevins and honorary co-chair Laura Linney

The annual signature fundraising event for the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation raised more than $500,000, money that will be used to support highest priority research designed to result in newer, more effective and less toxic treatments for cancer.

The event, the 16th annual “Taste for a Cure,” was held April 15 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and honored Showtime Networks President of Entertainment David Nevins with the Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award.

Event co-chairs were Jon Holman, Larry Maguire, Jay Sures and Dana Walden. Award-winning actress Laura Linney served as honorary co-chair. This year, “Taste for a Cure” featured performances by actress, singer and dancer Julianne Hough, star of the upcoming feature film, “Footloose,” and Broadway, television and film actor and singer Matthew Morrison, best known for his role as Will Schuester on the television show “Glee.” Michael C. Hall, star and co-producer of the Showtime series “Dexter,” and Eric Stonestreet of “Modern Family” were special guests.

The event featured a wine and food tasting reception highlighting 15 wineries from the Willamette Valley, Oregon’s leading wine region recognized as one of the best Pinot Noir producing areas in the world. The Napa Valley Wineries Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel, and Dolce, long-time event supporters, served as honorary wine partners. Willamette Valley restaurants, including JORY at the Allison Inn & Spa, Wildwood Restaurant, the Painted Lady, Lincoln Restaurant and Beaker & Flask, offered signature dishes. Since its inception, “Taste for a Cure” has tried to feature the best in food, wine and entertainment in support of the fight against cancer. In addition to the reception, the evening included an awards program, live entertainment and a live auction. An online auction continues here.

“We are thrilled to recognize David Nevins as our honoree,” said Judith C. Gasson, the cancer center’s director. “David’s commitment to putting the spotlight on the personal subject of cancer through 'The Big C' and his dedication to philanthropy so aptly reflect the Gil Nickel Humanitarian Award.”

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

Nevins, president of entertainment for Showtime Networks Inc., is responsible for developing, acquiring and supervising all aspects of programming for all Showtime Network channels. The first projects greenlighted by Nevins at Showtime include “Homeland,” “House of Lies,” “Episodes,” and “Shameless.” An Emmy Award-winning producer and veteran network and studio programming executive, Nevins served as president of Imagine Television from July 2002 until June 2010, where he oversaw development, production and acted as executive producer on all Imagine Television shows including “Friday Night Lights,” “Arrested Development,” “Lie to Me,” and “Parenthood.” In addition, he oversaw production for the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series “24.” Prior to joining Imagine, Nevins served as executive vice president for programming at Fox Broadcasting Company, where he oversaw all development and current programming for both comedy and drama series.

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:

Founded in 1945, the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation is the single most important vehicle for raising private funds for cancer research at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. The cancer center is ranked among the nation's top 10 cancer centers by U.S. News & World Report. The center’s dedicated researchers are recognized as international leaders in the discovery of new and better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at

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