Seena Magowitz Foundation names Gary Fazio as Honorary Chairman of 2014 'Golf Weekend' fundraiser for TGen pancreatic cancer research

Fazio is CEO of Serta and Simmons Bedding and has a long history of experience in the industry

PHOENIX, Ariz. - March 10, 2014 - The Seena Magowitz Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars in the quest for a cure for pancreatic cancer, has announced that Gary Fazio will serve as Honorary Chairman for the 2014 Seena Magowitz Golf Weekend.

The 12th annual event, which has previously been held in Phoenix, will take place May 16-17 at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Florida.

The golf tournament raises needed funds for pancreatic cancer research at the Phoenix-based, non-profit Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). The most recent event, held in December at the world-famous Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, drew nearly 400 participants, including 200 golfers.

"Our hope is that the move to a new venue will draw even more support for this most worthy cause, and advance progress even further against this terrible disease," said Roger E. Magowitz, President of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, which he founded in honor of his mother, Seena, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2001. "We are honored that our great friend Gary Fazio has agreed to help lead this effort in Florida."

Fazio currently serves as CEO of Serta and Simmons Bedding, having joined the company in 2010. Prior to that, he was CEO and Chairman of Mattress Firm. Fazio has more than 40 years of bedding manufacturing and retail experience, and has assumed the responsibilities for Serta after the former CEO left the company. The bedding industry is a primary supporter of pancreatic cancer research.

"I am really looking forward to this event to help raise money to fight pancreatic cancer," Fazio said. "This is a great opportunity for people in the bedding industry to get together in a social setting and work together to benefit a great cause. Pancreatic cancer is a very deadly disease and we need to help raise money for a cure."

Major recent progress by TGen against pancreatic cancer, includes:

• TGen's continuing discoveries about the mechanisms of pancreatic cancer through the work of its Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team.

• TGen's new clinical trial, begun in September, on a drug derived from a plant known as "Thunder God vine," a root used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. Preclinical studies showed that a pharmaceutical version of the active ingredient in Thunder God proved effective against pancreatic cancer cells.

• And, importantly, on Sept. 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of nab-paclitaxel (also known as Abraxane) in combination with gemcitabine as a front-line therapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. In international clinical trials supervised by TGen, this drug combination produced a 27 percent increase in average survival, a 59 percent increase in patients surviving at least 1 year, and a 125 percent increase in patients surviving at least 2 years.

The Seena Magowitz Foundation helped fund the nab-paclitaxel/Abraxane clinical trials.

Prospective sponsors and tournament participants may contact: Roger Magowitz at 602-524-7636 or [email protected]; or Liz McBeth, Tournament Director, at 757-773-3622 or [email protected].


About the Seena Magowitz Golf Weekend
The Seena Magowitz Golf Weekend was established 11 years ago in an effort to raise money to fight pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Pancreatic cancer annually takes the lives of more than 38,000 Americans. A staggering 75 percent of those diagnosed die within the first year, and only 6 percent survive more than five years.

About the Seena Magowitz Foundation
The Seena Magowitz Foundation was founded in 2001 by Roger E. Magowitz after the loss of his mother to pancreatic cancer. The foundation is committed to advancing awareness, early detection, and the eventual prevention and cure of pancreatic cancer. To support the cause and raise funds for cancer research, the foundation holds an annual golf tournament. For more information about the foundation and tournament, visit

About TGen

Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information,

Press Contact:

Steve Yozwiak

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