ISPA staff join industry to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research at annual Seena Magowitz Golf & Spa weekend

Eric Rhea of Leggett & Platt (left) with ISPA's Ryan Trainer

Eric Rhea of Leggett & Platt (left) with ISPA’s Ryan Trainer

ISPA President Ryan Trainer and BedTimes Editor in Chief Jane Kitchen joined nearly 400 bedding industry participants at the 11th annual Seena Magowitz Golf & Spa weekend Dec. 6-8, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix.

The event, led by industry veteran Roger Magowitz, whose mother Seena died of the disease in 2001, hoped to raise as much as $500,000 to help fund pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

The festivities began with a Great Gatsby-themed welcome reception complete with gambling tables, cash bar, and plenty of networking opportunities. The next day, golfers enjoyed themselves (despite a frost delay) and nongolfers took part in a hike up Squaw’s Peak or a trip to the Arizona Botanical Gardens, where a Chihuly installation added to the fun.

Pancreatic cancer fundraiserA luncheon and live auction followed and guests got an inside look at the incredible progress TGen is making towards finding a cure for the nation’s fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths.

TGen’s efforts, funded in part by the money raised through the Seena Magowitz Foundation, include clinical trials combining Abraxane with gemcitabine as a front-line therapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. In the clinical trials, this combination produced a 127% increase in average survival. The FDA just approved its use in September of this year.

“The progress against this disease during 2013 has been nothing short of phenomenal,” said Roger Magowitz. “Along with another successful golf tournament, it is our hope that even more progress will be made in 2014, including a method of early detection to benefit the many patients suffering from this awful cancer.”

The Mattress Firm Foundation, a sponsor of the event, presented TGen with a check for $100,000 at the luncheon and several pancreatic cancer survivors shared their stories.

The festivities concluded with a Country Comfort Concert featuring artists Baillie & the Boys, Keith Burns, Highway 101 with Paulette Carlson, Ira Dean and Alyssa Bonagura.

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