CHAMPCAR/CART: San Jose raises money for cancer

Canary Fund's "Cabana" event brings in more than half a million dollars for early cancer detection SAN JOSE, Calif. -- "Cabana," the inaugural fundraiser held Friday evening in conjunction with the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, ...

Canary Fund's "Cabana" event brings in more than half a million dollars for early cancer detection

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- "Cabana," the inaugural fundraiser held Friday evening in conjunction with the Taylor Woodrow Grand Prix of San Jose, raised $520,250 to benefit Canary Fund, the nation's only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to early cancer detection. Approximately 600 resort island-attired guests were treated to a beach-themed gala at The Fairmont Hotel, complete with cabanas and a raised plexi-glass dance floor revealing sand, shells and beach accoutrement.

"Our guests told me they had a great time," said Don Listwin, Canary Fund CEO, "and I'm deeply touched by their generosity. Cancer is a disease we can conquer by detecting it early, and the money raised last night will be a tremendous help to Canary Fund's initiatives."

The evening began with a surprise appearance by actor and Newman-Haas racing team co-owner Paul Newman, who was on hand to support a CEO and Celebrity Challenge go-kart race that raised money for both Canary Fund and Newman's charity, Association of Hole in the Wall Camps. Also attending Cabana were San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzalez and Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez, prominent racing community members such as Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Petit, as well as area CEOs, civic leaders, and noted cancer researchers including Nobel Laureate Dr. Lee Hartwell of Seattle. Local newscasters Raj Mathai and Diane Dwyer served as emcees for the event.

Following an "Asian Fusion Clambake" -- beach-inspired favorites with a Pacific Asian twist -- Cabana guests were treated to a fashion show, with race and pace car drivers and their spouses and girlfriends. Alex and Bronte Tagliani, Justin Wilson and local driving favorite A.J. Allmendinger were among the drivers who modeled Tommy Bahama resort wear instead of their usual one-piece, fire retardant race suits. Guests also were treated to the legendary music group B-52's, and the dance floor was packed with partygoers rocking to tunes like Love Shack and Rock Lobster.

Following dinner, Kalkhoven, who is Champ Car co-owner, announced he was making the first $250,000 gift of a $1 million commitment to Canary Fund, and he challenged the audience to match his contribution. The Kalkhoven challenge raised $364,000 for Canary Fund from Cabana guests.

A lively auction raised $156,250 for items such as roundtrip airfare for two and seven nights vacation at a luxurious home overlooking the Pacific in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, rides with Jimmy Vasser in the Canary Fund two-seater Champ Car, a Honda Metropolitan scooter autographed by Champ Car drivers, and a private gourmet dinner for 12 by acclaimed chef John Bentley. Altogether, the money raised from auction items, contributors matching the Kalkhoven gift and the CEO and Celebrity Challenge go-kart race was $520,250.

The CEO and Celebrity Challenge, hosted by Paul Newman and Don Listwin, was won Brocade Executive Chairman Dave House. Newman finished 5th. The event raised $137,000, which will benefit both the Canary Fund and The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps with a percentage going to the Children's Museum in San Jose.

Canary Fund, which was founded by Listwin, is dedicated to advancing the science of the early detection of cancer and was recently announced as the Official Social Cause of the Camp Car World Series. The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, which Newman has been associated with for many years, is the largest family of camps for children with life threatening conditions and, for the third consecutive year, is the Champ Car World Series' Official Charity.

-sjgp-

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Series Charity , IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Jimmy Vasser , Paul Newman , Kevin Kalkhoven , Dave House