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American Cancer Society Markets Gala to Young Professionals

By Erin L. Souza April 11, 2011, 9:20 AM EDT

Photo: Michael Blanchard Photography

American Cancer Society Boston Key Gala
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At the American Cancer Society's Key Gala on March 31, the event's purpose was brought center stage: One cancer survivor who stayed at the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Jamaica Plain relayed her positive experience to the 400 guests at the House of Blues. The gala raised $625,000 for the lodge, a free home-away-from-home for cancer patients and their families being treated at Boston-area hospitals.

The gala included an open bar, four food stations with grilled cheese panini, beef tenderloin, and turkey by House of Blues, a speaking program with M.C. Joyce Kulhawik, and a live auction. And for the second year, the gala went through a changing of the guard, transforming into a young professionals party with a $75 ticket price at 9 p.m. The later-night portion drew about 250 twenty- and thirtysomethings and offered a live performance by Mystique, a Murray Hill Talent band.

The American Cancer Society this year increased its marketing efforts targeted at young professionals, said Jennifer Rosenberg, director of communications for the society in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. One of the evening's media sponsors, for example, was the Improper Bostonian, which has a readership that matches the young professionals' party target demographic.

American Cancer Society branding was present throughout the space, with logo lampshades marking the food stations and raffle area. A large screen behind the stage displayed the society's “Coming Together for Hope” logo: a red and white background with a heart motif.

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