Charity tournament raises funds for TGen's pancreatic cancer research

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Nov. 24, 2010 - From Winnie the Pooh to Star Trek, the themes of the 8th annual Seena Magowitz Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic celebrate the inspiring words of cancer victim Randy Pausch.

Pausch was a 47-year-old Carnegie Mellon computer-science professor who died of pancreatic cancer in 2008. His now famous Last Lecture affectionately conveys the importance of achieving childhood dreams and maintaining a positive outlook on life. Featured on PBS, the Last Lecture has been seen by more than 12 million viewers on YouTube and is an internationally best-selling book.

Taken from the characters of Winnie the Pooh, Pausch believed people were either Eeyores (pessimistic, gloomy, always looking at the dark side) or Tiggers (upbeat, bouncy, looking for adventure and the good in things).

And Pausch's boyhood dream of being "Captain Kirk," brought him a 3-second cameo role in the 2009 hit movie, Star Trek, where he plays a character on the bridge of the starship U.S.S. Kelvin. He even has a line: "Captain, we have visual."

Now, Tiggers will grace every luncheon table, and Pausch's Star Trek uniform will be auctioned, at the annual Magowitz Foundation fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research, this year planned Dec. 4 at the Talking Stick Golf Club, 9998 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale.

Over the years, the event has raised nearly $750,000 for research at the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen), where scientists investigate the genetic origins of pancreatic cancer, which annually kills more than 35,000 Americans; the nation's fourth leading cause of cancer death.

"We decided we would have a Tigger at every table to show we are positive and support innovative research," said Scottsdale resident Roger Magowitz, Chairman of the foundation named in honor of his mother, whom he lost to pancreatic cancer in 2001.

The 40 stuffed Tiggers were purchased by Mattress Firm, one of many mattress industry leaders - including Serta, Sealy, Simmons, Tempur-Pedic, Protect-A-Bed, Leggett & Platt, International Bedding, Anatomic Global, and Glideaway - that have adopted pancreatic cancer research as a major cause. Many executives have lost colleagues or family members to the disease.

The Tiggers will be donated by Mattress Firm to the Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents as part of its annual toy drive to provide Christmas gifts for among the more than 10,000 children in Arizona's foster care system.

Jai Pausch, the widow of Randy and a national spokesperson for pancreatic cancer research, donated her late husband's The Star Trek uniform. She is the Golf Classic's Honorary Chairperson.

Also up for auction are: a German Shepherd puppy donated by Lifestyle K9; a $10,000 ocean cruise donated by Active International; a vacation for up to 8 people at the Villa at Mango Falls, Montserrat, donated by Phil and Ingrid McCarty; a $3,000 diamond drop necklace with a black Tahitian pearl donated by Garo of Demirjian Jewelry Design.

Along with dozens of golfers will be tournament special guest Derrick Hall, President of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen's Physician-In-Chief and one of the world's foremost authorities on pancreatic cancer.

A welcome dinner and show featuring Beatle Mania, a Beatles tribute band, is planned Dec. 3 at the Talking Stick Resort.

For more information about the Seena Magowitz Foundation, to make a reservation, or to make a donation, please visit:, or contact Liz McBeth at (757) 773-3622 or [email protected].


About the Seena Magowitz Foundation The Seena Magowitz Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to advancing the awareness and eventual prevention and cure of pancreatic cancer. The Foundation is dedicated to funding top medical institutions on the leading edge of translational pancreatic cancer research committed to diagnosis, the advancement of life-extending treatment options and the ultimate goal of eradicating this deadly killer.


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 602-343-8704 [email protected]

Contact:Steve Yozwiak TGen Senior Science Writer 602-343-8704 [email protected]

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