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James Denton and Jearlyn Steele Among Highlights at Angel Foundation’s 12th Annual Angel Gala

Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir and Boogie Wonderland Also Onstage Jan. 25 at Hilton Minneapolis

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After helping more than 18,000 people and providing nearly $4 million in emergency financial assistance to local adults with cancer and their families since 2001, Minneapolis-based Angel Foundation supporters have reason to celebrate. They plan to do just that Saturday, January 25, at the 12th annual Angel Gala at the Hilton Minneapolis.

James Denton (Mike Delfino on “Desperate Housewives”) returns as the event’s emcee for the 2014 Angel Gala, re-enacting the starring “role” he played for the organization at the record-setting 2013 Angel Gala. Also onstage will be renowned inspirational performer Jearlyn Steele and the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir. The night will wrap up with dancing to local favorite Boogie Wonderland.

More than 700 guests are expected to attend the celebration, which in 2013 raised more than $400,000 for local adults with cancer and their families.

“It’s a wonderful evening to celebrate the impact Angel Foundation is having in our community,” says Mark Wilkening, Angel Foundation president. “It’s not only our biggest fundraiser of the year, but a night of tremendous hope and inspiration. The gala sets the stage for what we can do for adults with cancer and their families in 2014.”

The night highlights Angel Foundation participants and celebrates them, all while raising the resources to help them. The event begins at 6 p.m. and includes a program, silent and live auction, dinner and after-party dancing to Boogie Wonderland.

Funds raised at the event support Angel Foundation’s programs. To that end, the gala will include stories of participants who have been helped by Angel Foundation two programs: its Facing Cancer Together program (which provides education and support to families with children facing a parental cancer diagnosis) and the Emergency Financial Assistance program (which provides immediate funds to adults in active treatment for cancer in the seven-county Twin Cities area for non-medical basic needs such as food, gas, utilities and rent or mortgage payments).

Angel Foundation Origins

In 1964, a 16-year old Edina star athlete and student named Jim Deming died of leukemia. He left behind a grieving family, a best friend named Mark, and a special girlfriend named Margie. While Jim lay dying, Mark promised him that he would work in the field of cancer, and that he would always take care of Margie.

In college, Mark Sborov and Margie married, and following graduation, Mark started medical school. His specialty: oncology. Before long, Margie knew that she wanted to be involved in the field of cancer as well. She created a role as a patient advocate for cancer patients and was able to see first-hand many of the issues that cancer patients face and the heartbreaking decisions many have to make: “Do I buy my medication or do I pay my rent?” “Should I cut my medication in half and hope it works so that I can afford groceries to feed my family?” Margie felt compelled to start a nonprofit organization that would meet these needs for adult cancer patients and their families.

In 2001, with funds from the doctors in Mark’s oncology practice (now Minnesota Oncology), Angel Foundation was born. Margie continues to be involved as founder of Angel Foundation, and Dr. Sborov is an advisor.

Angel Gala Tickets

Tickets to the Angel Gala are $175 per person. Tribute tables of 10 are available for $3,000. To order tickets, go to www.mnangel.org.

For more information about the Angel Awards Gala or Angel Foundation, go to www.mnangel.org or call (612) 627-9000.