LFFM Fundraising Event Again Reaches a Record Setting Year

By Pamela Goldsmith, MRA Director of Communications | 6 June 2017 | Allies & Partnerships, Events

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Nearly 1,000 professionals from the leveraged finance community gathered for the sixth annual Leveraged Finance Fights Melanoma (LFFM) benefit and cocktail party raising a record $1.8 million in funds for the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), the largest private funder of melanoma research.

The annual event, held at Rockefeller Center’s summer garden, raises critical funds for melanoma research and awareness on skin cancer prevention. Founded in 2011 by Jeffrey Rowbottom of PSP Investments and Brendan Dillon of UBS—both of whom combatted melanoma— past LFFM events have raised more than $8.6 million to support MRA’s global research programs. While the Melanoma Research Alliance awards $8-10 million each year, the LFFM raises 15- 20% of that year’s funding alone, proving to be an invaluable source of revenue for research.

“This event plays a critical role, not only to raise money that truly impacts the oncology field, but also to educate people on a disease that in most cases is preventable,” says LFFM Co-Chair, Jeffrey Rowbottom.

The evening included a welcome by MRA CEO and President Michael Kaplan, and keynote address by Josh Harris of Apollo Global Management, LLC, who spoke about the event’s significance for so many who have attended since its initiation.

Highlighting the importance of prevention in lowering the risk of melanoma, event attendees were encouraged to sign up for a skin check pledge, committing to have their skin examined by a dermatologist within 6 months. For each person taking the pledge, L'Oréal Paris had committed $100 per sign up, up to $250,000 for 2017.  A featured partner of the Melanoma Research Alliance, L'Oréal Paris, to date, has promised to fund $1.5 million in MRA grants. The company’s global spokesperson, Soo-Joo Park, was also a featured speaker at the benefit. 

Following the evening’s main event, attendees later gathered at Connolly’s Irish Pub on New York’s West side for food and drinks that were graciously donated to extend the festivities.

LFFM was chaired by Brendan Dillon of UBS; Lee Grinberg of Elliott Management; George Mueller and Cade Thompson of KKR; Jeff Rowbottom of PSP Investments; and Trevor Watt of Hellman & Friedman.

Over 87,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in 2017, and incidence of the disease continues to rise. Thanks to research funded by MRA, the outlook for treatment of the disease has vastly improved in recent years, yet further advances are needed to fully eliminate suffering and death related to melanoma.

See our photo gallery of the May event at Rockefeller Center. 

For more information on LFFM, please visit: http://www.curemelanoma.org/resources/events/leveraged-finance-fights-melanoma/


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