BOCA RATON, Fla. (March 26, 2009) – Lending a hand to kids battling cancer continues to be the driving force behind this year’s 16th Annual Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner/Auction & Golf Classic scheduled for Sunday, April 19th at the Delray Beach Marriott and Monday, April 20th at Parkland Golf & Country Club.
This year’s Dinner and Auction, “Art Rocks,” features internationally renowned visual artist Michael Israel. His show opens with a brief introduction, and then the spectacle begins. The music explodes and the paint starts to fly. With several paintbrushes in each hand, sometimes using only his hands, Israel transforms a larger-than-life, rotating canvas into a spectacular, 3-D art masterpiece within minutes. Israel will do four paintings live and auction off six. This year’s dinner/auction will also feature world renowned race car driver and Le Mans Champion Derek Bell as well as local actor Reed Alexander who appears on Nickelodeon’s TV hit iCarly.
Monies raised from the event will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Reaching Out to Cancer Kids (R.O.C.K.) programs, which allow children battling cancer to have fun just like other kids at a week-long stay at Camp Boggy Creek. The camp, located in Eustis, Fla., was founded by Paul Newman and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. Young adults who have beaten cancer are also eligible for financial assistance to a Florida university on scholarships funded by this annual event.
The Nicholas Chiera Golf Classic has been monumental in changing the lives of many young cancer survivors throughout the state,” said Judy C. More, American Cancer Society R.O.C.K. Camp Coordinator. “The Chiera support is invaluable and appreciated by all who attend R.O.C.K. Camp.”
Every year more than 200 children attend this special camp. Campers ages 7-16 enjoy one full week of camp activities including swimming, archery, fishing, horseback riding, computers, canoeing and a rope course among other activities. They are referred by pediatric oncology treatment centers, their physicians and parents. There is no charge for attending the camp which is entirely funded by events such as the Nicholas R. Chiera Gala.
Other R.O.C.K. programs include The American Cancer Society’s R.O.C.K. College Scholarship Program which gives young cancer survivors hope for the future and a chance to reach their full potential by relieving the financial burden of a college education. The program is open to all Florida residents who are United States citizens and received a diagnosis of cancer before the age of 21.
Families R.O.C.K. Weekend takes place in Disney World and allows parents and children devastated by cancer to meet and bond with others facing cancer and to share valuable coping skills. Parents learn more about the disease from medical professionals in a casual setting, while the child with cancer and siblings are treated to fun and educational activities.
The Chiera Dinner/Auction & Golf Classic has become one of the largest fundraisers for the American Cancer Society’s R.O.C.K. programs, raising more than $2 million in the last 15 years. KSM Electronics Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale is once again this year’s presenting sponsor.
“My father would be so proud to see how many children are benefiting from this event,” said Louis Chiera, tournament co-chair. “Some of our original campers that have beaten cancer are now able to attend college through our scholarships.”
The two-day event will kick off with a fundraising dinner and auction at the Delray Beach Marriott located at 10 North Ocean Boulevard, starting at 4 p.m. on April 19th. There will be a silent auction and live auction conducted by auctioneer Neil Saffer. One-of-a-kind auction items include an actual ride down the Olympic Bobsled track in Salt Lake City and a luge ride in Lake Placid, N.Y. The dinner/auction will also feature a private racing experience with Formula One race car driver Derek Bell.
The following morning there will be a golf tournament taking place at Parkland Golf & Country Club located at 10045 Old Club Road in Parkland, Florida, starting at 7:30 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast. An awards luncheon follows the tournament.
“One of our college scholars is now attending medical school to become a pediatric oncologist,” said Chiera. “Meeting the campers at the dinner and hearing her tell her story is something you won’t want to miss.”
For more information about becoming a sponsor or participating in the Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner/Auction & Golf Classic, contact the Chiera Tournament Office at 561-775-8722.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. In Florida, there are more than 65 offices, three Hope Lodge facilities and approximately 80,000 volunteers involved with American Cancer Society programs and activities. For more information, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
About Camp Boggy Creek
Founded by Paul Newman and General Norman Schwartzkopf, Camp Boggy Creek in Eustis, Florida is a state-of-the-art summer camp that helps children with special needs enjoy swimming, canoeing, archery, arts and crafts and other fun summer camp