Golfers getting ready to get on the course.

In 2009 the Denver Golfers Against Cancer (GAC) Chapter held its first gala to raise money for life-saving cancer research. In 2010, GAC added a golf tournament to accompany the gala. Now, with the support of the two events, the organization has raised over $1 million dollars for the University of Colorado Cancer Center in ten years.

“The money we have raised has supported much-needed research in many cancer types including blood cancers, breast cancer, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and many more,” says Scott Pearson, Chairman of the Denver GAC Chapter. “We have also been able to fund research that helps better understand the general mechanisms of cancer development and prevention.”

Golfers Against Cancer is a national organization founded in 1997 by a group of Houston golfers who lost two close friends to cancer. Motivated to raise money for cancer research, the group created an annual golf tournament with a live and silent auction, with proceeds going to fund grants for local cancer researchers.

The 10thannual gala on July 29, 2018, was the perfect way to kick off the tournament the next morning.

“We were thrilled to have the highest number of attendees at the gala since the inception of the chapter,” says Pearson. “It was an unforgettable evening.”

The gala was truly memorable! Guests had the chance to bid on various trips (if you want to add locations we had trips to San Diego (Del Coronado Hotel), Chicago (golf trip to Medinah Country Club) , great golf experiences (Merion Golf course in Pennsylvania, Ballyneal Golf Course, Holyoke CO) , multiple gift packages, autographed memorabilia and many other items.  (INSERT PRIZES HERE)in a silent and live auction. Steve Azar, national recording artist, preformed new songs from his latest CD. Comedian Gary Valentine also performed a short stand-up comedy show.

“The highlight of the evening was hearing Grace Petroff, who is a cancer survivor, share her story,” says Pearson. “Grace was diagnosed with a highly fatal brain tumor. She couldn’t walk or talk or eat for some time and now is cancer free and recently graduated from high school, and is heading to nursing school.”

The next morning 120 golfers were treated to a surprise when Jeff Farley, a Long Drive Professional, gave a demonstration prior to the tournament. The tournament took place at the Pinehurst Country Club in Denver.

The funds raised at the 2018 Golfers Against Cancer event will support three studies at the CU Cancer Center:

  • Modulating Necroptosis for Treatment of Aggressive Prostate Cancer
    • Scott D. Cramer, PI; Andrew M. Thorburn, PI
  • IL-1 blockade as a metabolic therapy for preventing acute myelogenous leukemia expansion
    • Eric M. Pietras, PhD; Angelo D’Alessandro, PhD
  • CDK9-mediated transcriptional dependency in H3K27M-mutant diffuse midline glioma
    • Sujatha Venkataraman, PhD; Adam Green, MD

In an effort to continue supporting local cancer research even when the event is over, Golfers Against Cancer has been selected by Autonation Subaru West with the “Share the Love” event held at the end of the year. So far, Autonation has donated $100,000 to the Golfers Against Cancer and been the title sponsor of the gala and tournament the last 7 years.