Rancho Santa Fe’s Tanz family presents $1 million gift for Medical Research at Sanford-Burnham Gala

San Diego’s philanthropic community was out in force at the annual Sanford-Burnham Gala, during which the Tanz family of Rancho Santa Fe gifted $1 million to fund research on neurodegenerative diseases.

More than 200 attendees were on hand at the elegant event held Nov. 1 at the Estancia Hotel and Spa in La Jolla.

The gift establishes a joint effort between Sanford-Burham and the Tanz Centre at the University of Toronto to find new therapeutic treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.

Contributors to the cause paid $1,000 each for the black-tie event. Sponsorship tables ranged from $10,000 to $50,000. The evening’s glamorous “Top Hat” theme came from Irving Berlin’s classic musical. The guest list included prominent charity donors from Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla, Del Mar and Carmel Valley.

The chairs for the event were RSF residents Karen and Stuart Tanz, along with Lisa and Steven Cassidy. They all expressed gratitude towards the participants of the sold-out event, stating that the future looks bright, thanks to warm and giving hearts.

Among the attendees was Congressman Juan Vargas, who said it was wonderful to see the outpouring of support for medical research: “What we are truly celebrating tonight is the generosity that our community has towards important causes such as neurodegenerative research. Events such as this gala tonight contribute greatly to the medical strides our next generation will benefit from.”

This collaboration will bring together the cutting-edge resources of Sanford-Burnham’s drug discovery platform and drug optimization technologies with the Tanz Centre’s expertise in neurobiology and prototype therapeutic testing. The director of the centre, Dr. Peter St. George-Hyslop, says this landmark gift is a catalyst that will drive important research between the two organizations, leading towards improved treatment for millions of people who will experience a neurodegenerative disease during this lifetime.

Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs more than 1,000 scientists and staff in La Jolla and Orlando, Fla.