NEW YORK, Oct 16, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Katie Couric and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) bring together some of the biggest names in film, music, television and theater to raise money for the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and EIF’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA).
This exciting event promises an extraordinary line-up of talent, all whom have graciously donated their time. In order of performance, celebrities confirmed to participate include: Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Kelsey Grammer, Josh Groban, Beyonce Knowles, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler, Rita Moreno, Chita Rivera, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Tony Danza, Jesse L. Martin, Davis Gaines, Heather Headley, Rebecca Luker, Paul Stanley and “Sopranos” cast members Tony Sirico, John Ventimiglia, Steve Schirripa and Federico Castelluccio.
This one-of-a-kind evening, titled “42nd & Vine … Hollywood Hits Broadway,” will be held on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Hollywood and Broadway’s leading stars unite in this special event performing selections from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”The funds raised through this evening are part of a substantial commitment that Couric and the Entertainment Industry Foundation have made to help create the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, which is estimated to cost approximately $9 million.
The event is presented by AETNA, a long time supporter of the NCCRA. The benefit co-chairs are Bill Cosby, Katie Couric, Michael Gould (CEO, Bloomingdale’s), Maurice R. Greenberg (Chairman and CEO, AIG), Kevin Huvane (Partner, Creative Artists Agency), Jeffrey R. Immelt (Chairman & CEO, GE), Robert Kaplan (Vice Chairman, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.), Jeffrey Katzenberg (co-founder, DreamWorks), The Monahan Family, John W. Rowe, M.D. (Chairman & CEO, Aetna) and Robert C. Wright (Vice Chairman, GE and Chairman & CEO, NBC).
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the U.S., causing approximately 55,000 deaths a year, but, at the same time, one of the most preventable with early detection.
The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health, named in honor of Katie Couric’s late husband, will offer a unique model of service for gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. The Monahan Center is the first comprehensive, fully integrated and interdisciplinary program that stresses education and prevention in addition to diagnosis and treatment of GI cancer. The Center’s goal is to make dealing with the difficult diagnosis of these cancers much easier for patients and their families. The Jay Monahan Center will be located in the Stich building on the New York Weill Cornell campus of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The Center is due to open in early 2004.
“EIF has been an extraordinary partner in the work I’ve been doing to raise awareness and research dollars for the fight against colon cancer since losing my husband Jay to the disease in 1998. I am thrilled to have EIF’s support as we establish the Monahan Center here in New York City. I know from personal experience what an enormous help the Center will be to families dealing with the devastating diagnoses of a variety of gastrointestinal cancers,” Couric said.
“It’s rare that I’m speechless, but that’s how I feel about the incredible array of stars — from film, television, Broadway and the music industry — who will perform to benefit the Monahan Center,” Couric admitted. “I can’t begin to express how grateful and touched I am by the entertainment industry’s generosity
— both the Foundation’s help and the personal commitment of each and every
person who will participate in ‘Hollywood Hits Broadway.’ November 12th is really going to be an amazing night. Knowing that all the proceeds will go to a great cause will make it even more so.”
“We feel privileged to have an opportunity to honor Jay’s memory by helping establish the Monahan Center,” said Lisa Paulsen, president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. “That so many leading performers will participate in this event speaks volumes about how much the entertainment industry respects Katie’s work in combating these terrible cancers. The creation of the Monahan Center is a wonderful next step in that effort, and we are very proud to support it.”
Jay Monahan was a respected criminal defense lawyer at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. and at the New York office of Hunton & Williams, before becoming a legal commentator for Fox News in New York and later at MSNBC. He was known for his insightful analyses, razor sharp memory and keen wit. He was passionate about his family, historic preservation and Civil War history and was working on a book on the burning of the Shenandoah Valley at the time of his death on January 24, 1998. Monahan and Couric’s two daughters, Ellie and Carrie, are now 11 and 6 years old, respectively.
About The National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA)
The National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA) was co-founded in March 2000 by Katie Couric, Lilly Tartikoff, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to raise awareness and research dollars in the fight against colon cancer. The NCCRA supports cutting-edge research conducted by leading scientists working on prevention, diagnostic tools, treatment, and, ultimately, a cure. As a result of the attention NCCRA and NBC’s “TODAY” show have focused on colorectal cancer, the number of colonoscopy screenings has increased almost 20%. Researchers at the University of Michigan refer to this as “the Couric effect.”
The NCCRA is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. EIF represents the collective philanthropy of the entertainment industry, and has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars and provided countless hours to support charitable initiatives that address some of the most critical issues facing society today.
For further information on “42nd & Vine” or to request media credentials to cover this event, contact Andy Gelb or Anne Cook of PMK/HBH at (310) 289-6200.