Donations from Seena Magowitz Celebrity Golf Classic now top $750,000

PHOENIX, Ariz. - April 2, 2010 - Arizona businessman Roger Magowitz today presented $400,000 for pancreatic cancer research to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Proceeds from December's 7th annual Seena Magowitz Celebrity Golf Classic bring to $750,000 the total amount Roger Magowitz has contributed to TGen in memory of his mother, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2001.

"We know that this disease is under-funded. We know that the disease needs more awareness," Magowitz told about 70 TGen research scientists. "What we're after, ultimately, is a cure. Unfortunately, it boils down to dollars."

Magowitz explained that because pancreatic cancer is such a fast moving disease - annually killing more than 42,000 Americans, and most of them within months of diagnosis - there are few survivor-advocates. And because the families of those who die are so consumed with grief, they often don't even want to hear the words pancreatic cancer, Magowitz said. "They're just completely blown away; they're devastated."

Because of those factors, Magowitz said he was happy to introduce Jai Pausch, the widow of Randy Pausch, the late Carnegie Mellon computer-science professor who died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. His now famous The Last Lecture, about the importance of achieving childhood dreams, has been featured on PBS, and more than 11 million viewers have seen it on YouTube.

Jai Pausch, the honorary chair of last year's Magowitz Golf Classic, said she is in awe of TGen's scientists, of their dedication and of their innovative approaches. "The one thing I get out of coming to TGen is a sense of hope, that the researchers are confident. There is a sense that we're headed in the right direction, we're on the right path, and this is only going to get better."

Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen's Physician-In-Chief and a world-renowned expert on pancreatic cancer, thanked Magowitz for his donation and praised his dedication to fighting the disease. "I knew when I first met Roger that he was someone special and that pancreatic cancer had an enemy. He wants to take revenge against this disease.''

Dr. Von Hoff also thanked Jai Pausch for her involvement in bringing attention to pancreatic cancer. "Cancer is tough, but the people like Jai Pausch are tougher. Determination is what's going to make a big difference in this disease."

Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation, thanked Magowitz for his generosity, describing him as "one of the most passionate, dedicated volunteers ever to come forward to TGen. Roger has done extraordinary things, not only raising funds for our programs, but rallying the entire home furnishings industry behind TGen."

Along with his business associate, Ray Bojanowski, Magowitz has involved many of the nation's leading home furnishings companies in fundraising activities to support pancreatic cancer research. The 8th annual Seena Magowitz Celebrity Golf Classic will be held Dec. 4, 2010, at the Talking Stick Golf Club near Scottsdale.


About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, visit:

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
[email protected]

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