News & Stories


Cooper 125 Gala Raises Record $1.25 Million for New Cooper Cancer Institute

125 GalaThe Chairman of the Board of Cooper Health System, George E. Norcross III, announced on Saturday that the Cooper Foundation raised a record $1.25 million at the Cooper 125 Gala, the largest charitable fundraising event in South Jersey.

The Gala was a celebration of the 125th anniversary of Cooper University Hospital, which opened its doors in Camden in 1887.

Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the new Cooper Cancer Institute. Construction on the new facility, located at Haddon Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard, began earlier this month. An official groundbreaking is planned for May, and the building is expected to open in fall 2013.

“This is a tremendous tribute to Cooper’s legacy,” said Norcross, who chaired the Cooper 125 Gala with his wife, Sandy. “As we celebrate our history, we also look toward the future and the success of this state-of-the-art cancer center, which will have the advantage of being affiliated with the new Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.”

More than 800 people attended the Gala, held at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia. Celebrating the theme, “Toast a Legacy. Forge a Destiny. Celebrate 125 Years,” guests enjoyed a silent auction; tribute performances to musical legends Tina Turner, Donna Summer and Lady Gaga; a 125th anniversary cake, and a tower of 600 cupcakes, donated by Ponzio’s Restaurant of Cherry Hill.

“Tonight, we made history,” said Susan Bass Levin, president and CEO of the Cooper Foundation. “We raised a record amount of money for the new Cooper Cancer Institute, which will benefit cancer patients across South Jersey. The success of the Gala, and the generous support of our committed donors, demonstrate once again that Cooper is a healthcare leader in the region.”

The new 100,000 square foot Cooper Cancer Institute is the centerpiece of the hospital’s $50 million capital campaign. The building was designed to foster professional interaction and collaboration enabling physicians from various medical disciplines to conduct concurrent, complementary clinical sessions.

“We are overwhelmed by the support this project has received,” said Cooper Cancer Institute Director Generosa Grana, M.D. “This new facility will help us provide the community with easy access to advanced cancer treatment technologies, groundbreaking clinical trials and a full range of supportive care services, right here in South Jersey.”

In addition to the new building, the project includes service enhancements and equipment upgrades at the Cooper – Voorhees Campus with the addition of a second linear accelerator and the installation of a permanent PET/CT. Cooper Cancer Institute will continue to provide multidisciplinary care at the Cooper – Voorhees Campus and at the Cooper outpatient offices in Willingboro, NJ.

The construction of the Cooper Cancer Institute is a significant milestone in Cooper’s tradition of outstanding achievement – a tradition that began 125 years ago with the opening of a four-story, stone building with just 30 beds to serve the indigent population of Camden.

Today, Cooper offers a full-range of health services in Camden and the surrounding suburbs including prevention, primary care, specialty ambulatory services, and all levels of inpatient acute care and sub acute care.

Grana is an honorary co-chair of the Cooper 125 Gala along with Francis Spitz, M.D., deputy director, Cooper Cancer Institute; Jeffrey Carpenter, M.D., chief, Department of Surgery; Tamara LaCouture, M.D., chief, Radiation Oncology; Joseph Parrillo, M.D., chief, Department of Medicine, and David Warshal, M.D., head, Division of Gynecologic Oncology.

The Host Committee members are Donna and Rick Forman, of Cherry Hill; Judith and Charles Heuisler, of Cherry Hill; Kathleen Sweeney Jass and Daniel Jass, M.D., of Cherry Hill; Kim Whelan and Christian Leomporra, of Moorestown; Irene and Brian Kelso, of Shamong, and Lynn and Sal Paolantonio, of Moorestown.

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