Community leaders, physicians, donors and guests gathered at Saddleback Memorial Foundation’s Spring Gala –An Evening of Gratitude on Saturday, April 25, 2015, in support of the MemorialCare Breast Center at Saddleback Medical Center. The sold-out gala, attended by nearly 500 people, raised $245,000 (net) to acquire additional state-of-the-art technology to help detect breast cancer at its earliest stage.

The evening’s special guest speaker was Gary Levine M.D., the new Medical Director of MemorialCare Breast Centers. Dr. Levine, a nationally recognized breast radiologist, brings 20 years of breast imaging and breast center leadership to his new role.

“It’s the generosity of our donors and volunteers, and extremely dedicated staff that allow us to bring in the nation’s top experts, like Dr. Levine, who will help lead us on our path to fight back against breast cancer,” says Steve Geidt, CEO for Saddleback Medical Center. “Thanks to our superior team that helped us achieve our recent Healthgrades ‘America’s 50 Best Hospitals' award, we truly have so much to be thankful for this year.”

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year, and about one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Funds raised from the Spring Gala will help Saddleback Medical Center purchase a third tomosynthesis imaging machine. Tomosynthesis provides 3-D imaging and greatly improves the accuracy of cancer detection versus traditional mammography. Early detection for breast cancer can save thousands of lives each year.

The addition of this state-of-the-art technology for the breast center at Saddleback Medical Center is part of an ongoing effort to provide local residents the most comprehensive and advanced cancer care.

During the evening, the live auction garnered an estimated $45,000 for the breast center. Auctioned packages included popular homemade pies by CEO Steve Geidt, a Santa Barbara polo match, New York City Fashion Week, and dinner for 10 with celebrity chef Dean Sheremet.

During the “Fund-a–Need” portion of the evening, $ 75,000 was raised for the acquisition of an additional 3D tomosynthesis unit. Additionally, the Opportunity Drawing raised nearly $11,000 from the sale of pink ribbon shell necklaces also in support of the breast center.

Cecilia Belew, president of Saddleback Memorial Foundation noted “I am so thankful for this charitable community and philanthropic efforts that continue to help us invest in the latest technology, programs and services. It’s these advances that enable us to continue our commitment to fighting cancer and create a local healing environment right in our patients’ backyard.”

Spring Gala 2015 Platinum, Gold and Silver sponsors included:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Saddleback Medical Center, Saddleback Medical Center Medical Staff
  • Gold Sponsors: Greater Newport Physicians and MemorialCare Medical Group, Bill Phillips and Mary C. O'Toole, MD, Doris J. Poore, Surgical Care Affiliates
  • Silver Sponsors: California Anesthesia Associates, CEP America, Gary Damsker, Dr. and Mrs. Gary Levine, Kindred Healthcare, Monarch Healthcare, Pediatrix and Obstetrix Medical Groups, Inc., Saddleback Radiation Oncology Medical Group, South Orange County Surgical Medical Group