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John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary To Honor The Mandela Family And Anton J. Bilchik, MD, At 29th Annual Odyssey Ball

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mandela family will be honored with the "True Grit" Humanitarian Award at the 29 th annual Odyssey Ball on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  Anton J. Bilchik, MD, PhD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Medicine at the John Wayne Cancer Institute (JWCI) at Providence Saint John's Health Center, will be presented "The Duke" Award.  The yearly fundraising event benefits JWCI and is organized by the JWCI Auxiliary.  Award-winning Broadway actor Davis Gaines and celebrated Jazz singer Brenna Whitaker will perform, and actor and honored army veteran J.R. Martinez will emcee.

The Mandela family will be honored with the "True Grit" Award for continuing the mission of former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate Nelson Mandela who helped bring an end to apartheid.  Princess Zaziwe Dlamini-Manaway and Princess Zamaswazi Dlamini, granddaughters of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, will accept the award on behalf of the family.  Visit www.nelsonmandela.org.

Also hailing from South Africa, Dr. Bilchik will be honored with " The Duke" Award.  Dr. Bilchik is an internationally recognized surgical oncologist who has pioneered techniques to improve staging in colon cancer and minimally invasive approaches for liver and pancreatic cancer. 

Since 1981, the family of John Wayne has been committed to pioneering cancer research in memory of their father, who died of cancer.  For more than 30 years, the courageous and dedicated researchers at JWCI have made groundbreaking discoveries that have changed the way cancer is detected, diagnosed and treated around the world.  Today, the tradition of excellence continues as JWCI spearheads new research advances while training the next generation of leaders in the fight against cancer through its nationally renowned Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program.  

Established in 1982, the JWCI Auxiliary is helmed by President Anita Swift, granddaughter of John Wayne.  The Auxiliary has raised more than $18 million to fund a wide array of the Institute's priorities including live-saving research and the JWCI Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program.  Visit www.jwci.org.

SOURCE John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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