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Philly Against Prostate Cancer

A mid-size city is yielding a super crop of groundbreaking anti-cancer research. Why is some of the most important work against prostate cancer sprouting in Philadelphia?

An offering for the jocks, the science geeks and the bean counters. And, of course, a yummy fertilizing dinner ended the day… where tantalizing tidbits such as great Phillies seats for the baseball fans or Eagles tickets at the 50-yard line went up for live and silent auctions, as the roast beast was carved and the wine glasses topped off. The amuse-bouche: the mayor of Philadelphia moderated and the former Governor of Pennsylvania served as an auctioneer.

With both Hamlin and Rodin on board and with the Prostate Cancer Foundation pitching in, Philly Against Prostate Cancer bloomed and matured. From its humble but very proud start of about 80 attendees raising respectable sums, this past year Rodin says, the list of attendees swelled to almost 450. “In the two weeks prior to this past year’s event at the Four Seasons, I had a bad feeling that we’d sold too many seats,” recalls Rodin. And they had. What ensued was a mad scramble to come up with more chairs and overflow rooms where video feeds of the panel discussion streamed in.

“We had four distinguished speakers on this year’s panel, in addition to Milken, who moderated,” says Rodin. “And each of those speakers brought their own entourage.” In addition, medical/scientific institutions local to the area whose physicians and scientists are moving the needle towards curing cancer (many of whom benefit from the largesse of Philly Against Prostate Cancer) attend the event, bringing cohorts of PhDs and MDs eager to discuss their work.

The result: this past year’s event took in over $1 million. The essential starter seed that initially brought in tens of thousands of dollars a year grew, in just 10 years, to a money tree fruiting up hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single night.

Rodin says he plans to move next year’s annual Philly Against Prostate Cancer’s afternoon and evening events to a larger venue with greater seating capacity; the morning golf rounds with local celebrities will again be held at the Trump National Golf Club-Philadelphia. He says he and Hamlin hope to raise $1.5 million at this year’s annual event in October. “Maybe even $2 million; I’m already getting requests for tickets,” Rodin says proudly.

Jihyun Lee, Timothy Showalter
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