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Children’s Tumor Foundation to Host 2012 Annual Benefit Gala “A Night to Celebrate Our Stars”

By September 28, 2012December 5th, 2023Awareness, Special Events



The Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) is pleased to announce that its premiere event, the annual Benefit Gala, originally planned for November 1 but rescheduled due to Superstorm Sandy, will be held on December 6, 2012 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Themed “A Night to Celebrate Our Stars,” it will be an evening of hope, promise, inspiration, and celebration. As many as 500 of CTF’s friends, family, and loyal supporters are expected to attend. Funds raised through the Children’s Tumor Foundation’s Benefit Gala will support research into neurofibromatosis (NF), a disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and affects one in every 3,000 people.

Each year, the Foundation honors three individuals at its Benefit Gala: a person with a distinguished history of philanthropy and a dedication to the health and well-being of children; a medical professional whose contribution to the field of neurofibromatosis research or medicine has a direct impact on the quality of life of those affected by the disorder; and a young person who demonstrates great courage in dealing with the obstacles one faces when living with NF.

Receiving the Children’s Humanitarian Award, the highest honor given by the Foundation, will be Richard Horvitz and Kaleb Yohay, MD. Richard Horvitz has made a lifelong commitment to improving the lives of children and young adults. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he received his BA with honors in Economics from Princeton University and his JD from Duke University School of Law. He is Chairman of the Moreland Management Company and has been a strong advocate and dedicated supporter of the Children’s Tumor Foundation for nearly two decades, serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for several years, and currently fulfilling an Honorary Director role.

Kaleb Yohay, MD, a pediatric neurologist and NF physician, is much beloved by his young patients. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University, Dr. Yohay earned his medical degree at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He then joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University and served as Co-Director of The Johns Hopkins Hospital Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Center from 2004-2006. Currently, Dr. Yohay is the Director of the Comprehensive Neurofibromatosis Clinic at the New York-Presbyterian Komansky Center for Children’s Health.

The evening will also pay tribute to this year’s Children’s Tumor Foundation Ambassador, Drew Leathers. Drew was diagnosed with schwannomatosis, the rarest form of NF, as a child.  In 2009, Drew became a quadriplegic. For almost a year, he was confined to a bed 24/7 and was unable to perform the simplest movements without assistance, usually accompanied by excruciating pain. But Drew’s optimism and determination are unshakeable. He has regained some movement in both his upper and lower body, is mobile via a push wheelchair, has recently learned to drive a specially outfitted van, and travels independently from Lilburn, Georgia to Baltimore, Maryland for treatment at Johns Hopkins University. He hopes to return to Georgia College to finish his education degree, and, in the meantime, is practicing his teaching skills by training his new dog, Tom.

The Children’s Tumor Foundation’s Annual Benefit Gala is the organization’s largest and most important fundraiser of the year. “We are proud to honor Mr. Horvitz, Dr. Yohay, and Drew Leathers at this special event, and pleased to celebrate the medical advancements made within the field over the past year,” said John Risner, President of the Children’s Tumor Foundation, “These are promising times in NF research and events like this will help fund the programs that will fulfill our mission of ending neurofibromatosis through research.”

World Champion race car driver Justin Bell will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the Gala, and entertainment will be provided by Grammy nominated musician Chuchito Valdes. In addition to dinner and dancing, the evening will feature both a silent and live auction. Online bidding has begun and can be accessed at

For more information about the Annual Benefit Gala and to order tickets, please go to

About Children’s Tumor Foundation
The Children’s Tumor Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to finding effective treatments for the millions of people worldwide living with neurofibromatosis (NF), a term for three distinct disorders: NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. NF causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body and can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities, and excruciating and disabling pain. NF affects one in every 3,000 people, more than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease combined. The Children’s Tumor Foundation funds critical research into neurofibromatosis. In addition to benefitting those who live with NF, this research is shedding new light on several forms of cancer, brain tumors, bone abnormalities, and learning disabilities, ultimately benefiting the broader community. For more information, please visit


Media Contact:
Simon Vukelj
Director of Communications
Children’s Tumor Foundation