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L&P's Glassman helps lead industry's fight against pancreatic cancer

PHOENIX — When bedding veteran Roger Magowitz issued a challenge to the home furnishings industry to help him in his fight against pancreatic cancer, Leggett & Platt Chief Operating Officer Karl Glassman was moved to action.

 Karl GlassmanKarl Glassman

Glassman takes on a key new role at the upcoming 10th annual Seena Magowitz Golf Classic: He's the honorary chairman for the event, sponsored by bedding producers, suppliers and retailers.

The modest Glassman admitted that he was "humbled" by the invitation to serve as the honorary chairman.

"When Roger issued us his challenge at the last Golf Classic, it resonated with me," Glassman said. "Roger asked, ‘If not me, then who?' Roger has motivated the bedding industry to be stewards of humanity and fight for a near-term solution. If we continue working together in a hard-fought campaign to curb this brutal disease, I'm confident that our efforts will make a life-changing difference."

The Seena Magowitz Golf Classic is set for Dec. 7-8 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix. The event begins Friday, Dec. 7, with a Monte Carlo Casino Welcome, set for 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Golf Classic Breakfast and Registration begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, with a shotgun start for the golf classic set for 8 a.m. The Tennis Classic begins at 8:30 a.m. Special events for non-golfers follow that morning.

At 1 p.m. the awards luncheon, which features an auction and raffle, begins. Glassman is the host for that luncheon. The guest speaker is Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, a pancreatic cancer researcher at TGen, a cutting-edge research facility in Phoenix. The master of ceremonies for the luncheon is Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks pro baseball team.

Glassman said he knows that pancreatic cancer, a lethal type of cancer that receives less research funding that other types of cancers, needs more support.

"The urgency to increase funding for pancreatic cancer research is something I've been aware of for some time," he said. "When I visited TGen and Dr. Von Hoff earlier this year, I was excited by the progress being made and became more focused on the progress still desperately needed."

Glassman knows the toll that cancer can take. His mother died of breast cancer at the age of 54 and he lost a good friend to pancreatic cancer.

"Currently there is good work being done and money raised in the fight against breast and other forms of high-profile cancer," Glassman said. "The same can't be said about pancreatic cancer. For example, the National Cancer Institute spent an estimated $97.1 million on pancreatic cancer research in 2010, which was just 2% of their $5 billion cancer research budget for that year."

He said he's confident that moving forward in the fight against pancreatic cancer "is simply a matter of money. There are tangible solutions out there - we just need to find them. Dr. Von Hoff and the TGen team are amazing."

The Seena Magowitz Golf Classic honors the legacy of Seena Magowitz, Roger Magowitz's mother, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2001. The first Seena Magowitz Golf Classic, held in 2003, raised $50,000. To date the event has raised millions of dollars for pancreatic cancer research.

To learn more about the event, go to

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