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Photo of Derrick Hall, President and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks CEO to emcee Seena Magowitz Golf Classic

David Perry
Furniture Today
April 29, 2015

Derrick Hall, president and CEO of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks, has been named the master of ceremonies for the upcoming 13th Annual Seena Magowitz Golf Classic set for the Omni Resort at Champions Gate, Florida., May 14-15, immediately following Furniture/Today’s Bedding Conference, which takes place at the same hotel May 12-14, 2015

The Seena Magowitz event, started by bedding veteran Roger Magowitz to honor his mother, Seena, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2001, has raised millions of dollars for the Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a leading player in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

Hall said he’s pleased to be supporting the work done by TGen.

I have lost a parent to pancreatic cancer and share in Roger Magowitz’s determination to find a better treatment and a method of early diagnosis for this terrible disease,” he said. “The breakthroughs that TGen has achieved shine bright. Now, those of us who have been touched by pancreatic cancer have every reason to be optimistic.

The 13th annual Magowitz event promises to be “much more than a golf tournament,” said Gary Fazio, CEO of Serta Simmons Bedding, who is serving a second year as the event’s honorary chairman.

“What began as a charity golf gathering in 2003 has become a major annual event, drawing hundreds of attendees from across the nation, and making major contributions to the advancement of pancreatic cancer research,” said Fazio, who has more than 40 years of experience in the bedding industry, which is a primary supporter of pancreatic cancer research. “With viable drug options in place, I am pleased that the Seena Magowitz Foundation is supporting early diagnostics.”

He said early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is critical, as the disease often goes undetected until its advanced stages. Pancreatic cancer is a highly aggressive disease that this year will take the lives of more than 40,000 Americans.

The Seena Magowitz Golf Classic — whose 2015 theme is “Connected by Life. Driven to Help” — raises funds for pancreatic cancer research at TGen, a nonprofit biomedical research center.

“We need a mammogram for the pancreas. Just like breast cancer, if pancreatic cancer is detected early, we will be able to find a cure,” said TGen’s Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, one of the world’s top authorities on pancreatic cancer, the fourth-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S.

TGen has made progress in treating pancreatic cancer through the work of its Stand Up to Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team. As a result of TGen clinical research, the U.S. FDA in 2013 approved the use of albumin-bound Paclitaxel in combination with Gemcitabine as a front-line therapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

The Seena Magowitz Foundation helped fund the Abraxane clinical trials, officials said.

“With the albumin-bound paclitaxel plus gemcitabine regimen, some patients are surviving past three
years,” said Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, who directs clinical trials at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical T
rials at HonorHealth in Scottsdale, Ariz., where TGen research discoveries are translated into new t
reatments for patients.

Featured events at the 2015 Magowitz classic include a dinner and concert set for the evening of May 14, featuring a presentation by Dr. Von Hoff.

This year’s Golf Classic also includes a $1 million hole-in-one contest, an Everglades boat ride, and a David Leadbetter Golf Academy VIP Class.

“Today, we are excited to bring the Seena Magowitz Golf Classic to Orlando and invite the community to join us as we bring people, organizations, advocates and medical researchers together in synergistic concert to fight pancreatic cancer,” said Roger Magowitz, the founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation and the executive director of the Mattress Firm Foundation. “We are focused on early detection, increasing survival rate, creating awareness, and an eventual cure.”

The Signature Sponsors of Major Sponsors of the 13th Annual Golf Classic are Serta Mattress Company and Simmons Bedding Company. Major Sponsors are Mattress Firm Holdings, Leggett & Platt, Sleep Inc. Tempur Sealy, Protect-A-Bed, and Comfort Revolution.

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