Barrow Grand Ball
Clinking champagne glasses and congratulatory praise echoed throughout the Arizona Biltmore ballroom on the evening of January 16, as the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation shared the news that the 2016 Barrow Grand Ball successfully raised a record-breaking $4 million—thanks to the support of many donor attendees. This total included a generous gift of $1.1 million to endow the Beverly Dryer Stewart, Earl A. Petznick, Jr., Olen Jeffrey Petznick Chair of Multiple Sclerosis at Barrow Neurological Institute from the Petznick’s and Ms. Stewart.
Driving the success of the 2016 Barrow Grand Ball were Women’s Board Chair Angela Melczer and Grand Ball Co-chairs Sandy Hecomovich and Amy Thurston. Their efforts were applauded by 375 guests, including some of the Valley’s most well-known leaders and philanthropists: Governor Doug Ducey and his wife, Angela; former Sen. Jon Kyl and his wife, Caryll; Robert Spetzler,MD, and his wife, Nancy; Stevie and Karl Eller; Nancy Hanley; Karen and Bob Hobbs; Linda and Bill Hunt; Dionne andFrancis Najafi; Carole and Arte Moreno; Pat and Earl Petznick; Beverly Stewart; and Melani and Rob Walton.
Donations from the annual ball have supported medical research at Barrow for the treatment of brain tumors, aneurysms, migraines, concussions, stroke, degenerative disc disease, traumatic brain injury, cerebral vascular disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s and many other debilitating disorders.
The Barrow Grand Ball has also supported research for new and emerging centers of excellence at the institute, such as the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation and Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center.
As part of the annual fundraising effort, the Women’s Board chooses to highlight a special research project for collective support. This year the board selected the work of Rachael Sirianni, PhD, a lead researcher at Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center. The goal of Dr.Sirianni’s lab is to identify new methods for safely transporting therapeutic drugs through the naturally impenetrable blood-brain barrier to target deadly brain tumors while sparing healthy tissue. Support of Dr. Sirianni’s Drug-Delivery Research drives newly discovered tumor-target therapies into clinical trial—accelerating the discovery of more effective treatments and a much-needed cure.
“We are extremely fortunate to have this indefatigable group of women raising funds to support our mission,” says Dr. Spetzler, President and CEO of Barrow Neurological Institute. “I have the utmost respect for their dedication and am eternally grateful for the generosity they share for the benefit of the patients we serve.”
"I think, without the Women's Board, BNI would not exist as it is today."
Hear Dr. Robert Spetzler, Barrow president and CEO, discuss the impact of this dynamic group.