One jazzy evening | Event brings out people, cash for cancer research

Grammy Award-winning producer and jazz musician Steve Tyrell took the stage this past Thursday during the 2009 Make the Evening Matter, a fundraising event in memory of Tyrell's wife, Stephanie, who died from colorectal cancer in 2003.

The benefit raised an estimated $100,000 this year, bringing in nearly $500,000 over the past three years for colon cancer research and awareness.

The benefit to support the fight against colorectal cancer drew a large crowd of supporters for an evening of drinks, dining, an auction and a live performance by Tyrell and his band.

The evening raised funds in support of the Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. CBS Anchorwoman Katie Couric acted as honorary chair and shared her gratitude to those in attendance during a pre-recorded video message. Couric lost her husband, Jay Monahan, to colon cancer and has since dedicated her time and energy in support of the event.

Wild Ginger restaurant catered the event and John Curley got the crowd in the mood as the event emcee and auctioneer. Bid cards waved in the air as the audience members participated in a raise the paddle for Fund the Cure. The live auction included one-of-a-kind trips to Fashion Week in New York, a trip for two to the Screen-Actors Guild Awards, and a lunch date with Steve Tyrell and Academy Award Nominee Terrence Howard at the Ivy restaurant in Los Angeles.

“Overall, I'm very pleased with how the evening went and we have raised a lot of funding and awareness for a very good cause,” said John Greenbaum of Greenbaum Furnishings, a volunteer on the planning committee for the event and business sponsor. “Everyone was very optimistic and they seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

The evening ended with a sea of couples dancing the night away to the smooth sounds of jazz and a feeling of hope for a future cure cancer.

Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425.453.4602.