Cancer League preps for the return of the Holly Ball

Julie Reichle

A volunteer holds an invite to this years event, A Medieval Knight, held at the Claremont Country Club on December 3rd

The in-person event will be held in December at the Claremont Country Club.

The Cancer League, a Bay Area nonprofit that funds groundbreaking cancer research at its early stages, announces the in-person return of its largest annual fundraising event, the 48th annual Holly Ball. 

This year’s theme, A Medieval Knight, will give people a long-awaited chance to mingle with friends and support break-through cancer research all while experiencing the world of knights, royals, and even jesters. The black tie event will commence with a cocktail reception followed by a sit down dinner, raffle, live auction, and dancing into the night. One hundred percent of profits from Holly Ball are used to support the Cancer League’s mission to fund cancer research, early detection, education and patient care. 

“COVID-19 has had many unintended consequences in the fight against cancer,” said Jenna Caldwell, this year’s Holly Ball Chair. “Cancers have gone undiagnosed, research has been suspended and many clinics are working at diminished capacities. These roadblocks have given us even more motivation to get research back on track by making this year’s Holly Ball a smashing success.”

Cancer research is normally funded by large nonprofit organizations that require a significant proof of concept. But getting the funding required to develop this initial data set can be challenging, leading cutting-edge ideas struggling to get noticed. Just like technology startups, these research startups need seed funding to get off the ground. Funds raised at the annual Holly Ball event help The Cancer League find and fund these breakthrough research projects, accelerating us all towards the cure.

“The Cancer League has been seeding bold, new research at UCSF for over 20 years,” says Alan Ashworth PhD, President at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. “These projects have gone on to earn funding from hugely competitive sources so they can yield meaningful changes in how we treat cancer with investigational therapies and clinical trials.”

The event will be held on Friday, Dec. 3, at Claremont Country Club. Donations and sponsorships are welcome at any level. Sponsorships at the $1000 level and above will be invited to a Sponsor Party on Nov. 11. This year’s sponsors include ​​the David & Susan Martin Foundation, Mr. Gary Kovacs, John Muir Health/UCSF Health, J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Jenna & Jack Caldwell, The Grubb Company, Celine & Alastair MacTaggart, and Camilla & Shahan Soghikian. 

To make a donation or learn more about The Cancer League please visit the website at

About The Cancer LeagueThe Cancer League is a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit that funds groundbreaking cancer research at its early stages. Since inception in 1973, The Cancer League has raised and donated over $5 million toward the fight against cancer. The organization has an average yearly allocations budget of over $300,000 and an average grant size is between $10,000-50,000. The Cancer League’s grants support early-stage researchers creating the datasets necessary to get their ideas off the ground. The Cancer League is a charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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