IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Inspired by the loss of their friend's infant son to pediatric cancer, New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole and wife Amy headlined "A Culinary & Musical Experience" fundraiser on World Cancer Day (Saturday, February 4th) at The Ranch at Laguna resort in Laguna Beach. The intimate gathering was co-hosted by Michael & Joanna Irwin, in honor of their son Will who passed away at 8-months-old to a cancer that is still unknown today. Over $400,000 was successfully raised for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) whose mission is to fund research to find treatments that currently don't exist and to reduce the percentage of children whose lives are lost to cancer until that number reaches zero.
Those in attendance enjoyed an exclusive cocktail reception, and impeccable five course dinner created by Chef Kyle St. John along with wines curated by Gerrit and his father Mark that included pairings by Pahlmeyer. The program was emceed by entertainment reporter & cancer survivor Amanda Salas and featured heartfelt speeches by the Coles, Irwins, Dr. Ashley Plant-Fox and PCRF's Jeri Wilson. Additionally, musical entertainment was provided by artists Tim Reynolds, Lee Rocker from the Stray Cats, Jackson Breit, Carneyval, and Conner Smith with Josh Jenkins & Matt Jenkins.
"We believe every child deserves an opportunity to stay healthy, educated and safe, which is why pediatric cancer research is a cause my wife Amy and I support," adds Gerrit Cole, who recently welcomed his second child. "As parents, the Irwin's did everything possible to protect Will and make sure he knew he was loved, and today they are making a huge impact on the world. We will continue to share the mission of PCRF."
The evening's purpose was to come together as a community and raise awareness and funding for the country's 15,000+ children diagnosed with cancer each year. Pediatric cancer research receives a minute fraction of the dollars allocated to adult cancer research.
"We are grateful to Irwins and Coles for their commitment to pediatric cancer research. Their leadership and caring is integral to advancing new science," adds Jeri Wilson, Executive Director of PCRF. "The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is on an urgent mission to improve the lives of children living with cancer and we cannot do it without more funding."
Since losing their son, the Irwins have been working on the front lines with PCRF to transform cancer care and have raised over $1.5M on behalf of the Will Irwin Fund which supports top researchers and institutions.
"We believe that together, we can make a powerful impact for children," adds Joanna Irwin. My husband Michael and I feel so blessed to have had so many people make a significant impact on our lives, and now helping us to honor our son and joining us in finding treatments and cures for all childhood cancers."
For more information about PCRF please visit www.PCRF-kids.org.
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SOURCE Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation
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