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Cancer Early Detection Fundraiser: Balls for Balls by Philanthro Los Angeles

July 10, 2013

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Philanthro Los Angeles focuses on engaging young professionals in the community. On June 22nd, 2013, they hosted Balls for Balls — Eat Meatballs, Save Lives at Nirvana Bar & Grill in Downtown Los Angeles to benefit the Canary Foundation, dedicated to the funding, discovery and development of early cancer detection for the five most prevalent forms of cancer. Balls for Balls raised money for prostate cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in North America. The funds raised assist the clinical trials currently underway as part of the Canary Prostate Program, which develops tools to more accurately discriminate lethal from non-lethal cancers, informing critical treatment decisions and sparing thousands from unnecessary radical prostatectomy treatments.

Prior to the event, teams of four registered with clever and oftentimes hilarious names to compete in Balls for Balls. On the day of the event, many teams showed up well before the start time to get pumped up and to change into their costumes. We saw teams dressed in banana suits, tutus, tuxedos, t-shirts bearing eagles with mullets, you name it. The contenders ate meatballs in a line: the first player had to finish chewing three meatballs and show the referees their tongues, before their teammate could continue, and so on, until the whole team of four had finished. Teams competed in a tournament-style bracket through multiple rounds to come out on top to win and take home a cash prize of $400. For that whole afternoon, Nirvana was filled with laughter, cheering, and excitement.

The afternoon had more than just meatballs, though. The event was graced by musical performances from Shane Kanoa and Priska. The competition and its moments of unexpected triumph (or loss) were emceed by the wonderful Kezia Norton. Guests were able to enjoy free health screenings by USC MAPSC, a coalition of USC’s health campus graduate students. The free event also boasted a photobooth sponsored by Snapfiesta and s’mores cookies baked by Philanthro’s own Claudia Chin at the Canary table filled with goodies and educational tidbits.

The event was a great success not only in raising money but also generating awareness. It is our hope that everyone went home with a notion of how prevalent prostate cancer is and reminded a family member or friend to get checked for prostate cancer. Balls for Balls couldn’t have happened without the help of Philanthro Los Angeles volunteers and sponsors. In addition to the aforementioned sponsors, we are also grateful to SigmaNet and Philanthro Phund for their generous contributions, John O’Groats Grille & Pub for the meatballs, and Golden Road Brewing for the vegan meatballs.  Check out some of the amazing photos  taken by Jane Sha Photography and David Wen Photography here.

Here at Canary Foundation, we’re deeply grateful that our friends at Philanthro Los Angeles selected us as the beneficiary of this incredible event. We look forward to collaborating with them again in the future!

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This blog post is an amended version of the original event recap, posted on the Philanthro Los Angeles Blog. Click here to read the original post. 

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