Georgetown Lombardi Gala To Honor Washington Philanthropists, Cancer Advocates

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Graphic with the Lombardi Gala logo and the words April 27, 2024, The Anthem at the Wharf Benefiting Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Karen Teber

WASHINGTON (April 1, 2024) — Two cancer advocates and a pair of dedicated philanthropists will be honored at the 36th Annual Lombardi Gala, an annual event dedicated to raising funds for Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Gala will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at The Anthem in Washington, DC.

Director’s Champion in Research Award

The 2024 recipients of the Director’s Champion in Research Award are Ellen V. Sigal, PhD, and Marlene A. Malek, RN. The award honors individuals whose philanthropy, leadership and advocacy have made transformative contributions to Georgetown Lombardi.

Ellen Sigal
Ellen V. Sigal, PhD
Marlene A. Malek
Marlene A. Malek, RN

Sigal is the founder of Friends of Cancer Research and chairs its board of directors. Malek co-founded the organization and serves as the board’s vice chair. Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) is a think tank and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. The organization drives collaboration among partners from every health care sector to power advances in science, policy and regulation that speed lifesaving treatments to patients. During the past 25 years, Friends has been instrumental in the creation and implementation of policies ensuring patients receive the best treatments in the fastest and safest way possible.

“Ellen is a longtime friend of Georgetown Lombardi and a genuine force in cancer advocacy,” said Louis M. Weiner, MD, director of Georgetown Lombardi. “Marlene is a former oncology nurse here at Georgetown whose effectiveness on behalf of cancer patients is inspirational. I’m so very pleased to recognize their incredible contributions that ultimately impact patients everywhere.”

Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award

The 2024 recipients of the Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award are Scott LaGanga and Tim Lawrence. Named in honor of the late Washington philanthropist, the award is presented to remarkable individuals who embody and follow Margaret L. Hodges’ leadership spirit and pays tribute to sustained contributions of time, energy, financial resources and leadership.

Scott LaGanga
Scott LaGanga
Tim Lawrence
Tim Lawrence

The Gala’s planning committee chose LaGanga and Lawrence to honor their leadership in founding the Ruesch Center Golf Tournament and for their continuing dedication to the annual event. The tournaments in 2017 to 2023 raised $1.5 million for gastrointestinal cancer research and the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancer, a part of Georgetown Lombardi.

“Georgetown Lombardi thrives because of friends like Scott and Tim,” said Weiner. “Philanthropy is the lifeblood of research, and through the golf tournament, Scott and Tim have expanded our community of friends and donors, and we’re so very grateful.”

Tickets for the Gala are available now. The Gala features the awards presentations, dinner, a cocktail reception, silent auction and much more. Proceeds from the Gala directly fund world-class research leading to clinical trials and innovative new treatments that change the lives of people with cancer.