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UMass Medical School, UMass Memorial Medical Center 11th annual Winter Ball raises more than $1.3 million

Fund-A-Need auction supports pediatric cancer care and research

UMass Medical School Communications

December 09, 2019

The 11th annual Winter Ball held on Friday, Dec. 6, raised more than $1.3 million to help support the clinical care, education and biomedical research missions of UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center. This is the fourth consecutive year that fundraising has exceeded $1 million.

The overall total for 2019 includes nearly $650,000 in corporate sponsorships—the second highest amount in the event’s history—and pushes the 11-year fundraising total past $10.7 million. More than 300 supporters, including Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, attended the gala at Mechanics Hall.

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From left: Winter Ball co-chairs Cliff and Susan Rucker; Dean Terence Flotte and his wife,  Kye Flotte; UMass Memorial President and CEO Erik Dickson and his wife, Catherine Jones; Maryellen Collins and her husband, Chancellor Michael Collins; UMass Memorial Medical Center President Michael Gustafson; and Winter Ball
co-chair Anthony Consigli.

Since 2009, members of the Central Massachusetts community, including business and civic leaders, philanthropists and humanitarians, have gathered annually at the Winter Ball to celebrate and support the innovative work of UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial. Leading the fundraising efforts as co-chairs for the 2019 event were well-known Central Massachusetts business and community leaders Susan and Anthony Consigli, and Susan and Cliff Rucker. Funds are raised through corporate sponsorships, auctions and ticket sales.

“On behalf of our institutions we would like to thank our sponsors, the planning committee, volunteers, the gala staff and patrons for their support in making this event such a success. We are humbled by the continued generosity of this community,” said UMass Medical School Chancellor Michael F. Collins and UMass Memorial Health Care President and CEO Eric W. Dickson in a joint statement. “The tremendous effort behind this marvelous event helps to fund vital programs and research at our health sciences center that will improve the health and well-being of the people in our community, state and country,”

Each year, a program, center or other important project or initiative is selected as the beneficiary of the Fund-a-Need segment of the live auction. This year, pediatric cancer care and research was in the spotlight. Generous donors pledged nearly $290,000 to support the teams of UMass Memorial caregivers who are treating infants, children, adolescents and young adults with a wide range of cancers, and UMass Medical School researchers who are investigating promising cures and treatments to save lives and make the effects of cancer therapies less toxic to patients.

Organizers have already begun the planning process for the 12th Annual Winter Ball.