Good Morning America Co-Anchor receives Gilda Radner Courage Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute

2013-02-21 21:30:13

More than 400 guests attended the sold-out white-tie affair, featuring the theme "On Stage for a Cure," and presented by HSBC and the Roswell Park Alliance Community Advisory Board at Shea's Performing Arts Center. Approximately $250,000 is expected to be raised from the event to support innovative new cancer research at Roswell Park, America's first cancer center and upstate New York's only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Over the course of her career, Roberts, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, has covered major topics including Hurricane Katrina, the AIDS crisis in Africa and the war in Iraq. By continuing to work during the course of her treatment, Roberts provided Good Morning America viewers a first-hand account of her breast cancer journey.

Her 2007 book, "From the Heart: 7 Rules to Live By," has been recently re-released with an updated chapter, entitled, Make Your Mess Your Message, focused on her experience with breast cancer. In her book, Roberts speaks about finding a purpose in her cancer battle, and the importance of viewing cancer as a beatable opponent. "Cancer is no more than a chapter in my life. And it will not be the last chapter," said Roberts.

She joins a prestigious list of past awardees, including Sam Donaldson, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Senator Bob Dole, Scott Hamilton, Barry Bostwick, Rue McClanahan, Ted Kennedy, Jr., Marcia Wallace, the late Robert Urich and Joel Siegel.

Two additional awards were presented at All Star Night to recognize individuals who have played significant roles in the advancement of cancer research and care at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI).

Norma J. Nowak, PhD, Director of the Microarray and Genomics Facility at Roswell Park and Director of Science and Technology at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, University at Buffalo, was the recipient of the Thomas B. Tomasi, MD, PhD, Achievement Award. Nowak's tireless efforts have led to remarkable developments in genetic research, including her role as a member of the international team that mapped the human genome in the late 1990s. In 2008, she and her colleagues received the Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research. Nowak also founded Empire Genomics, LLC in July 2007 - a Roswell Park spin-off company that will help establish the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus as a premier biotechnology center.

The Katherine Anne Gioia Inspiration Award was presented to Scott Bieler, President of West Herr Automotive Group, for his volunteer leadership to Roswell Park. Bieler's philanthropic efforts through West Herr fundraising campaigns like Round Up for Roswell, the Drive 4 Roswell and Saves for Cancer (a collaboration with Ryan Miller's Steadfast Foundation) have contributed over $900,000 to support cancer research, patient programs and capital projects such as RPCI's Center for Genetics & Pharmacology. A trustee on the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation board since 2002, Bieler continues to help shape the strategic direction of Roswell Park's fundraising activities, while ensuring the most effective use of donor funds.