Barrow Women’s Board raises more than $4M through 2016 Grand Ball


The Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation announced more than $4 million was raised through the 2016 Barrow Grand Ball, hosted Jan. 16 at the Arizona Biltmore.

The announcement was made with a toast to the women who drove the success of the fundraiser—board chair Angela Melczer and ball co-chairs Sandy Hecomovich and Amy Thurston—amidst the company of several hundred guests and generous benefactors of the ball.

Founded in 1965 for the purpose of raising money to further research at Barrow Neurological Institute, the Women’s Board has evolved into one of the most successful fundraising entities in the Valley and the largest cumulative donor group to Barrow. Over the last half-century, the group has donated more than $54 million to support medical research as well as clinical care and medical education at the institute, according to a press release.

Among the 375 guests attending this year’s black-tie event were some of the Valley’s most well-known leaders and philanthropists, including Governor Doug Ducey and his wife, Angela; former Sen. Jon Kyl and his wife, Caryll; Dr. Robert Spetzler and his wife, Nancy; Stevie and Karl Eller; Nancy Hanley; Bob and Karen Hobbs; Bill and Linda Hunt; Francis and Dionne Najafi; Arte and Carole Moreno; Earl and Pat Petznick; Beverly Stewart; and Rob and Melani Walton.

Donations from the annual ball have supported medical research for the treatment of brain tumors, aneurysms, migraines, concussions, stroke, degenerative disc disease, traumatic brain injury, cerebral vascular disease and many more. The Barrow Grand Ball has also supported new and emerging centers of excellence at Barrow, such as the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation and Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center.

As part of the annual fundraising effort to benefit Barrow, the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation chooses to highlight a special project for collective support. This year the board selected the work of Rachael Sirianni, PhD, a lead researcher at Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center.

The goal of Dr. Sirianni’s lab is to identify new methods for safely transporting therapeutic drugs through the naturally impenetrable blood-brain barrier to target deadly brain tumors while sparing healthy tissue. Support of Dr. Sirianni’s research will drive newly discovered tumor-target therapies into clinical trial—accelerating the discovery of more effective treatments and a much-needed cure.

“We are extremely fortunate to have this indefatigable group of women raising funds to support our mission,” stated Robert Spetzler, MD, president and CEO of Barrow Neurological Institute, in the release. “I have the utmost respect for their dedication and am eternally grateful for the generosity they share for the benefit of the patients we serve.”

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