July 27, 2023

ArtBLINK 2023 breaks fundraising record

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The annual ArtBLINK Gala returned to the UAB Kirklin Clinic Feb. 4 and raised more than $900,000 for the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center.

ArtBLINK 3Group PhotoAs one of Birmingham’s premier events, the 38th annual ArtBLINK featured a cocktail dinner catered by IZ Catering, a night of dancing with live music from the Schmohawks, and a silent art auction comprised of one-of-a-kind peces created live by local artists. Artists like Melissa Payne Baker, Fran Bostick, Carole Bandy Carson, and Ahmad Austin created original works of art on stage in the “blink of an eye” to raise funds for the O’Neal Fund for Excellence.

The O’Neal Fund for Excellence promotes broad areas of basic, translational and population science research relevant to cancer and helps the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center further its mission of advancing the understanding of cancer to improve prevention, detection, treatment and survivorship for all people.

The 2023 ArtBLINK Gala raised $903,000, the highest total in the event’s history. The proceeds from the gala fund pilot projects designed to generate data that can be used to compete for grants.

ArtBLINK 2Ahmad Austin, ArtBLINK Artist“The money raised by the ArtBLINK Gala allows O’Neal investigators to perform critical studies that will make their grant applications more competitive for large levels of extramural funding from the NIH and other organizations,” said Barry Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D., director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The return on investment has historically been about $18 in extramural funding for each $1 invested from ArtBLINK. So, if ArtBlINK raises $900,000 to be invested the expected yield in extramural funding is $16.2M.”

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center is among the nation’s leading cancer research institutions and one of only 53 cancer centers in the United States with a “comprehensive” designation from the National Cancer Institute.