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Minnie Driver To Perform At Annual illumination Gala

  • February 15, 2012
  • Number of views: 4930

Jason Merrill
[email protected]

ST. LOUIS – Award-winning vocalist and actress Minnie Driver will perform at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s annual illumination gala benefiting the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, Saturday, April 14 at The Ritz-Carlton in Clayton.

Best known for her roles in Good Will Hunting, Circle of Friends and Sleepers, Driver is also a successful vocalist. She can be heard on the original title track for the 2005 version of Phantom of the Opera, which was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

Living by her own words, “Celebrity is a weird appendage, which is useless unless you do something with it” Driver is no stranger to taking a stand for cancer-related causes. In 2008, she helped launch Ralph Lauren's Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Campaign, which raised millions worldwide for breast cancer programs.

“Having watched friends and family members battle cancer, it is such an honor to support research that will get us to cures faster,” Driver says. “I look forward to joining illumination guests in April to raise money for Siteman Cancer Center’s research.”

Gala co-chairs Tom Hillman, Owner & Managing Partner, FTL Capital LLC and Ron Kruszewski, President & CEO, Stifel Nicolaus are leading community support of illumination. FTL Capital LLC is the presenting sponsor of the gala, which is expected to draw 600 guests for dinner, and a live auction of luxury items and experiences, capped by a private concert by Driver.

“FTL Capital is committed to supporting our community through activities with deep significance, meaning and purpose,” Hillman says. “Providing funds to help Siteman accelerate cures for cancer is a cause we deem very worthwhile.”

Kruszewski agrees, “It is an honor to co-chair illumination, which supports Siteman, a true asset to our region and an international leader. We’re also aware of the urgency of this work; now is the time to stop cancer in its tracks.”

The 2012 gala will support The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Cancer Frontier Fund, a fundraising initiative spearheaded by Amy and Bill Koman, Foundation board member. The Cancer Frontier Funds purpose is to fast-track cancer treatment innovations based on research into the unique genetic signatures of each cancer, thus permitting personalized patient therapies.

Since 1999, illumination has generated millions of dollars to support the Siteman Cancer Center – the only National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center within 240 miles of St. Louis – in the fight against cancer. The 2011 event raised $1.5 million.

“The theme of the 2012 gala is ‘fast-forward to a world without cancer,’ and this could not be more timely. Today, thanks to our research supported by philanthropic support from events like illumination, we have more personalized cancer treatments on the horizon than ever before,” says Timothy Eberlein, MD, Siteman Cancer Center director. “Support from this year’s event could get us to those treatments even more quickly. It is such an exciting time in cancer research—the landscape is changing everyday; we can stay optimistic about where cancer treatments and cures will be in ten years because of the continued support from events like illumination.”

Hillman, Kruszewski, Eberlein and Rich Liekweg, Barnes-Jewish Hospital President, will host illumination. For more information about tickets and sponsorships, visit, or contact Kristin Marino at (314) 286-0602 or [email protected].


The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital helps donors enrich lives, save lives and transform patient care through charitable gifts. The patient is at the heart of everything we do.

Every gift to The Foundation helps Barnes-Jewish Hospital remain one of America’s top hospitals by funding innovative research for disease prevention and cure; medical education for doctors, nurses and pharmacists; technology and equipment; care essentials for patients in need like medicine and lodging; and community outreach to promote health and wellness.

To give where care matters most, please call The Foundation at 314-286-0600 or visit

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