Magowitz draws record crowd
David Perry -- Furniture Today, December 17, 2012
PHOENIX - The Seena Magowitz Golf Classic here attracted a record turnout of bedding industry executives and raised more than $600,000 for pancreatic cancer research, with additional checks still coming in.
On a sunny day here, the event shined a bright light on the need to increase support for the fight against pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers but one that suffers from a lack of funding.
Pancreatic cancer survivors and researchers said the mattress industry's fundraising efforts are making a difference.
Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, physician-in-chief at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix and one of the world's leading pancreatic cancer researchers, boosted spirits with his announcement that a new cancer drug combination demonstrated significant improvement in survival of late-stage pancreatic cancer patients.
The support of the Seena Magowitz Foundation and other groups aided the study that produced those positive results, he said.
Steve Stagner, CEO of Houston-based Mattress Firm, a major supporter of the Magowitz event, said small steps can produce big results in the fight against pancreatic cancer. A commitment by attendees to each invite one more person to next year's event will pay big dividends, he said.
Karl Glassman, chief operating officer of Leggett & Platt, another major supporter of the Magowitz event, served as honorary chairman this year and praised the work done by Von Hoff and other pancreatic cancer researchers. He said they are giving patients something precious: hope.
|Terry Byrd, left, and Mike McQuiston, right, both of Symbol
Mattress, with Jim McMahon, former NFL quarterback.
|Mark, left, and Cecelia Chase, Sherwood Bedding, and
Bridget and Mark Quinn, Leggett & Platt.
|Laurie Tokarz, left, Restonic; Craig McAndrews and Karrie
Forbes, both of Mattress Firm, Houston.
|Eric Johnson, left, Sherwood Bedding, and Cindy Williams,
Wright Global Graphics.
On its 10th anniversary, the classic added two events, a Monte Carlo-themed casino night sponsored by L&P and a wrap-up concert that featured three Nashville singers and songwriters.
The turnout for all of the events was strong, organizers said. The casino night attendance was 400, 100 more than attended a welcome reception on the same night a year ago. The number of golfers playing at the Arizona Biltmore resort jumped from 209 to 224 this year. And the awards luncheon that is the heart of the event swelled from 388 last year to 450 people this year. The concert drew a crowd of almost 200.
Celebrities in attendance included singer Jessi Colter, actor Greg Itzin, former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon and former NBA player Sleepy Floyd, among others.
"This tremendous turnout demonstrates yet again that the mattress industry has a big heart when it comes to fighting pancreatic cancer," said Roger Magowitz, the event's founder. "This year we established a number of important new relationships with key figures around the country as we continue to add resources to our fundraising efforts."
The event honors the memory of Seena Magowitz, Roger's mother, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2001. Magowitz started the event the following year and has led it to steady growth over the years.
Major sponsors included Leggett & Platt, Mattress Firm, Sealy, Sleep Inc., the Michael Fux Foundation/Comfort Revolution, Serta, Protect-A-Bed, Customatic Adjustable Bedz, Ellman Family Vineyards, Optimum, Outlast, Simmons and the La Porte Wealth Strategies Group/Raymond James.
Other sponsors included Comfort Solutions, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Dormeo Octaspring, Ergomotion, Fabrictech, Glideaway, Knickerbocker, Tempur-Pedic, Wells Fargo, Wesley Allen, Ameriprise, General Wholesale Beer Co. and the Morley Co.
|Elise Walthall, left, Michelle Ling and Kurt Ling, all with Pure
John Rachid, left, Serta, and Bob Pearce, DreamFit.