Mill & Mine Knoxville
227 West Depot Ave
Nov. 10th 6:30-11pm
On November 10, 2017, The American Cancer Society is hosting its annual Hope Gala at the Mill & Mine. A one-of-a-kind evening, the gala will feature great food, dancing, dueling pianos, silent and live auctions, jewelry raffles, and a wine and whiskey pull. Ted Hall of WVLT will serve emcee for the event.
Stacey Clark, Community Development Manager for American Cancer Society in Knoxville, and Meredith Overholt, Co-Chair of this year’s gala, took some time to answer some questions about the society, its goals, and the gala itself.
Cityview: What is the Hope Gala, what is its history, and what is its goal?
Stacey Clark: The Hope Gala is an annual black-tie event in Knoxville presented by the American Cancer Society and focuses on their efforts to raise funds and awareness for cancer. The event has served as a fundraising source for the Knoxville-area chapter for over 25 years. 560 guests are scheduled to attend this year’s event, which has a financial goal of $200,000.
CV: Meredith, why did you and your husband Mark choose to become co-chairs of this year’s gala?
Meredith Overholt: It’s an exciting time to raise money for cancer research. New medications and treatments are coming out every day that are changing the landscape of cancer therapy. I was at a meeting at Cornell in New York last weekend and heard a great talk by the director of melanoma therapy at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Hospital. He said that just three years ago, the average life expectancy of a patient with metastatic melanoma was seven months. He is currently three years into directing a trial that has so many patients still alive that it has become impossible to calculate an average life expectancy yet! With the pace of drug and treatment development right now, every dollar contributed to cancer research is going to make a difference.
CV: How did you get involved with the American Cancer Society?
MO: We got started going to the Gala when it was out at Blackberry Farm. We had a great time going out there, and got to know a lot of the ACS regulars. ACS is a natural for Mark and me; we both deal with cancer on an everyday basis, even though we don’t practice oncology per se. Skin cancer detection and treatment has become the largest part of my practice in dermatology, and Mark detects and treats thyroid and other head and neck cancers every day. Now that we are empty nesters, it seemed time to focus on our passions.
CV: What work does the American Cancer Society do in Knoxville? How does the gala help?
SC: The Hope Gala serves a crucial fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and the Knoxville office. Funds raise by this event not only go towards cancer research and treatments, but prevention and education, as well as local programs that directly benefit patients and families currently battling cancer.
CV: What can Knoxvillians do to help the American Society?
SC: Donate their time and dollars! ACS is constantly looking for volunteers to help with everything from our main fundraising events (Relay for Life, Hope Gala, and Strides) to local programs we provide such as Road To Recovery. Big or small, monetary donations are all appreciated and are vital to the ACS’s hope to one day create a world free from the pain and suffering of cancer.