Get ready for an exciting announcement for the melanoma community

  • Days
  • Hours
  • Minutes

News & Press

Washington, D.C. Melanoma Community Hosts Gala to Fuel Treatment Advances


Washington, D.C. – Melanoma, the fastest growing cancer in the U.S., claims the life of one person every hour. Fortunately, researchers have recently seen progress in the treatment and research landscape, and many top doctors believe the next five years will usher in major changes in patient care. The pace of discovery is largely limited by funding. On Saturday, November 3rd, the Washington, D.C. melanoma community will gather to celebrate recent advances and raise critically needed funding for future progress during the fourth annual DC Wings of Hope Gala

Hosted by the Brenda MacDonald Melanoma Research Foundation and Champion Way Foundation for the benefit of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the Wings of Hope Gala is expected to bring together over 600 people dedicated to raising money for new, effective treatments for melanoma. Party-goers will gather at the Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Va., to enjoy an exciting evening of music, dancing, gourmet food and drink, and bid on high-end auction items. 

Chad MacDonald is co-chair of the DC Wings of Hope Gala and founder of the Brenda MacDonald Melanoma Research Foundation. Chad lost his wife, Brenda, to melanoma in 2005 and founded the Brenda MacDonald Melanoma Research Foundation in her honor. Chad’s co-chair, Bud Wilkinson, lost his wife, Lynn, to advanced melanoma in early 2011. These families joined others in the community affected by melanoma to spearhead the event to raise critical funds for research.   

“We know progress has been made toward better treatments for people with melanoma but much more still needs to be done,” said Chad MacDonald. “This annual gala enables the DC melanoma community to play an integral part in fueling research breakthroughs. We’re looking forward to another exquisite event where we can celebrate progress to date and raise more money for life saving research.”

All proceeds from the event will be donated to support innovative research facilitated through the MRF. The MRF is the largest independent organization dedicated to supporting education efforts, patient advocacy and medical research aimed at finding treatments, and eventually a cure, for melanoma.  The MRF’s efforts include support for clinical trials combining investigational therapies.

“The scientific community is on the cusp of breakthroughs in melanoma research like never before. However, people with melanoma still do not have adequate treatment options and diagnoses are increasing at an epidemic rate,” said Timothy J. Turnham, executive director for the MRF. “During the DC Wings of Hope Gala, the Washington, DC melanoma community will raise urgently needed funding to support the development of new and better treatment options, and eventually, a cure.”

Event sponsors include: Genentech, Churchill Mortgage Corp., Virginia Spine Institute, Hilton Worldwide, Champion Title, Champion Way Foundation, Cooley, LLP, Keller Williams Realty, Potomac Mortgage Group, Chicago Title Insurance, Allegra, Info4Sure, The Brenda MacDonald Melanoma Research Foundation, The Wiltse Family Foundation, Home Savings & Trust Mortgage, First American Corp., and many other local businesses.

In addition to the Wilkinsons, the MacDonald family will be joined by the Reilly family, Michael Esposito and the Wiltse Family Foundation in hosting the event.  

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to be part of the fight against melanoma. To purchase tickets and learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit www.dcwingsofhope.com

# # #

About Melanoma

Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 76,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2012, resulting in over 9,000 deaths. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old. 

The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer.  Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails. 

About Melanoma Research Foundation

The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF’s website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at www.melanoma.org

About DC Wings of Hope

The DC Wings of Hope’s mission is to support medical research for finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma; to educate patients and physicians about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma; and to act as an advocate for the melanoma community to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure.

For the past four years, the Brenda MacDonald Melanoma Research Foundation has hosted the DC Wings of Hope Gala. Inspired by the MacDonald family’s desire to memorialize a wife and mother, this annual event raises awareness and much needed funding for melanoma research.  This enormously popular reception, attended by hundreds of professionals from the D.C. metro area, features a silent auction, exquisite food and live music.