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32nd annual Circle 1000 Founders’ Celebration Brunch

Over $1 million raised to benefit Hoag Family Cancer Institute

The 32nd annual Circle 1000 Founders’ Celebration Brunch raised over a $1 million to benefit Hoag Family Cancer Institute, raising the group’s cumulative giving to more than $20 million over the last 32 years. More than 300 Circle 1000 donors and friends, along with Hoag physicians, staff and volunteer leaders, gathered on April 25, 2019, at the Fashion Island Hotel to celebrate a legacy of generosity supporting those affected by cancer.

"Thanks to philanthropy, Hoag Family Cancer Institute is currently running 31 phase 1 clinical trials with many more in development," said Mary Buckingham, chair of the 32nd Annual Founders' Celebration Brunch. "The number of patients enrolled in these trials has doubled in the past year. Imagine the hope and gratitude those patients and their families feel knowing they’re benefitting from these promising new treatment options.”  

The highlight of the event was stand-up comic Mack Dryden, who shared his story as the survivor of two types of cancer. Mack has appeared in several feature films and numerous TV shows, including several appearances on The Tonight Show. He was born and raised in Mississippi, where he was an award-winning journalist and a black belt karate champion.

He shared the moment when his physician told him that he was cancer-free. “Again, thanks to you wonderful warriors who are contributing to this cure, I’m still good today,” he said. “I appreciate people like you and what Circle 1000 is doing to save people’s lives every single day. Just remember that falling on your face is still moving forward!”

Circle 1000 was founded by Newport Beach resident and breast cancer survivor Sandy Sewell in 1987. She gathered a group of friends and asked them each to contribute $1,000. She also tasked them with asking their own circle of friends to participate. From the powerful bonds of friendship, Circle 1000 has grown to more than 1,000 friends who have collectively raised more than $20 million for Hoag since its founding.


Thanks in large part to philanthropy, Hoag has become one of the nation’s finest health care systems and serves a diverse and growing population. Hoag Hospital Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Hoag (a separate 501(c)(3) corporation), is an integral partner in Hoag’s vision to become a trusted and nationally recognized health care leader. Under the direction of a volunteer Board of Directors, the Foundation launched Hoag Promise, Our Campaign to Lead, Innovate & Transform. With a goal of $627 million by 2020, the promise of the comprehensive Campaign is to drive Hoag’s continued clinical leadership, innovative spirit and transformative potential. Please visit www.HoagPromise.org.




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