The Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation today announces that its annual Cause to Cook for a Cure fundraising gala – this year named All That Jazz – raised more than $72,000 for research for a cure for Muscular Dystrophy (MD), topping all previous Cause to Cook for a Cure fundraising totals. The event, held on Jan. 30, brought together 230 people for an evening of great food, live music, laughter and fundraising.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the level of generosity and passion shown by our guests at this year’s gala,” said Patty Marzolf, president of the Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation. “Great strides in research and treatment of MD are being made by brilliant researchers right now but funding is desperately needed to make these advances possible for this generation of kids. We’re proud that our supporters stepped up to make a difference. Together we share a hope for a tomorrow free of MD.”
All proceeds from the event will benefit the critical research and outreach programs of the Paul and Sheila Wellstone MD Center at the University of Minnesota.
During the event, Patty announced the recipients of the Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation’s new grant program. The three winning proposals received $25,000 grants each. They include:
• Dr. Peter Karachunski: Clinical Research Study Coordination and Advancement
Funding to support five new clinical trials which would allow the possibility for at least 50 more patients to participate in drug trials that may help treat or manage the patient’s form of MD.
• Dr. Rita Perlingeiro: Strategies for the Scalability and Purification of Human Es/iPS – derived Myogenic Progenitors for Clinical Application
The Perlingeiro Lab aims to optimize strategies for the scalability and purification of human pluripotent-derived muscle progenitors, two critical aspects to enable the therapeutic application of these cell preparations. Once this is achieved and validated, the team will be in the perfect position to begin IND filing, and a phase 1 safety trial.
• Dr. Michael Kyba: Skeletal Muscle Regeneration from Teratoma-derived Myogenic Stem Cells
Teratoma-derived skeletal muscle stem cells have tremendous regenerative potential, with as few as 40,000 cells reconstituting 80 percent or more of the muscle mass of a dystrophic tibialis anterior muscle 3 months post-transplant. This extent of regeneration has never been observed with any type of cell therapy previously, therefore it represents a major advance and possibly a game changer for cell therapies for MD.
• In addition, GMJF will continue to fund young scientists in the field through the Annual Greg Marzolf Jr. Trainee Program at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone MD Center at the University of Minnesota.
Patty also announced this year’s recipients of the Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation Champion Award and Innovation Award.
Derek Thurmes won the Champion Award for his work to transform the Greg Marzolf Jr Foundation’s technology capabilities, as well as upgrading its financial and communication abilities.
“His dedication and vision are extraordinary and his willingness to help is constant, positive and always with a smile and hearty laugh,” said Patty.
Katie Stewart was named the recipient of the Innovation Award for her outstanding work as the Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation Treasurer.
“Katie is committed fully to the mission of the foundation,” said Patty. “She serves with a bright spirit, always looks at the pro and cons and never questions new opportunities that will move us forward.”
The activities at All That Jazz included a blend of traditional favorites and new Roaring 20s themed options, such a “bottomless bubbles” champagne bar, prohibition liquor pull, jazz band, prize board, silent auction, wine pull, cake walk, mystery bags, heads and tails and fund-a-need.
The event was held at the James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall at the University of St. Thomas Anderson Student Center.
Sponsors for All that Jazz include: R.F. Moeller Jeweler, Decko, Mauer Chevrolet, KFAN FM 100.3, Green Mill, CliftonLarsonAllen, Shamrocks, Highland Bank, and 7 Corners Print and Promo.