As a result of the largest sellout fundraiser in the 125 year history of Alexandria’s Old Dominion Boat Club, the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center received a check for $54,000 last Friday night during a reception thanking contributors and volunteers.
“Those of us at Lombardi are inspired by the hard work and dedication of individuals and volunteers like those represented on this committee. This $54,000 will be used to improve our infusion center to make it more comfortable to reduce the fears of patients and families,” said Michael Vander Hoek, associate director of administration at the Georgetown University Hospital facility.
In presenting the gift to Vander Hoek, Club President Eric DeSoto acknowledged, “Local businesses, club members, and national organizations all made generous contributions to make the fundraiser a success for the second consecutive year.” Last year ODBC raised $31,000 for the Lombardi Center’s palliative care program and $15,000 for a high-tech microscope, according to Vander Hoek.
“Last year’s funds, used to purchase a state-of-the-art microscope, enabled me, as the father of a patient, to directly benefit from your generosity,” Vander Hoek told the crowd of more than 60 people assembled at the Club at the foot of King Street in Old Town. His 16 year old son, Sam, was operated on for a tumor on his chin and the microscope was instrumental in determining it to be benign, according to Vander Hoe.
Both Club fundraisers, known as the “Pink Skirts Charity Fundraiser,” have been undertaken in memory of ODBC member Denis “Andy” Horne who succumbed to colon cancer on New Year’s Eve 2003 at the age of 61. “Andy received world class treatment at the Lombardi Center in his battle with cancer. Seeing the personal care and latest technologies available to Andy has inspired us to support their research,” said Mark Poskaitis, chairman of the silent auction held on February 3.
“I’ve had a very reflective day. We are truly grateful for this gift in my father’s name to the Lombardi Center,” said Nicole Bradley, Horne’s daughter. She was accompanied by her husband Kerry, their sons Alex and Chris and Horne’s widow Alice Lynn.
“Our father taught us by example that loving and helping others is the most important thing in life. This day is not only to raise money to fight cancer, but also dedicated to the fun, friendship and my father’s love of pink on women,” Nicole Bradley wrote in the program entitled “Treasure Chest of Cash.”
THE FIRST AND SECOND annual “Pink Skirts Party,” as the auction has come to be known, “has overwhelmed even his dearest friends and family by the amounts raised in his honor,” she said. “To perpetrate his concern for family, we want part of the money to always be dedicated to palliative care for those that cannot afford to be with their loved ones.”
Vander Hoek explained that Lombardi Center has developed a program for this type of care that “focuses on making life as pleasant as possible for those at the end stages of life.” It is staffed by those with particular oncology training, according to Vander Hoek.
Club member, Windsor Demaine III, serving as master of ceremonies recognized various members who had contributed to the success of
the fundraiser. He also announced that proceeds from next year’s auction would be divided between the Lombardi Center and Inova Alexandria Hospital’s Cancer Center.
Joining in the presentation of the “check” to Vander Hoek were Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille, Vice Mayor Redella “Del” Pepper, and City Councilman Andrew Macdonald. “The Old Dominion Boat Club has supported a long list of charitable organizations and I can’t think of a better place to give this contribution,” Euille said.
In addition to the myriad individuals, businesses and organizations donating auction items, ODBC recognized the following as their top contributors: Sportsbook.com; Dehart & Deming, John Keegan; James L. Brown & Associates Architects, Stephen W. Kulinski; The Chem-Met Co., Art Fox; Land, Clark, Carroll, Mendelson & Blair, P.C.; National association of Chain Drug Store Foundation; Santa Claus Yatch Club; Suntrust Mortgage, Frank Fannon; and Washington Custom Builders.