Grand Illusions event set Thursday

THE?OHIO Cancer Research Associates Grand Illusions dinner party will be held this Thursday at Undo’s West, Hampton Inn, in St. Clairsville. Derek and Lisa Ferguson, this year’s honorees, expressed their commitment and support of Ohio Cancer Research Associates.

“Community responsibility is an integral part of our corporate philosophy and we recognize the enormous service Ohio Cancer Research Associates provides for our neighbors through their research grants,” said Derek. “All of our lives have been touched in some way by cancer and we feel our efforts are vital to continue funding research, which is making progress towards finding a cure.”

“It is a testimony to the generosity of the Ohio Valley that for the past two decades the Grand Illusions Saute has been the top money making gala for Ohio Cancer Research Associates,” said Thomas G. Lamb Executive Director Ohio Cancer Research Associates. “We are very grateful to Derek and Lisa for lending their support and generosity.”

“As is the case nearly every year, the Grand Illusions Saute promises to have a full house, but there are still a few tables left,” Lamb said he was confident that this year would again be a sell out and invited residents who have never been to the event to come out and experience an entertaining evening. “Great fun, great food for a great cause!”

Established in 1982, Ohio Cancer Research Associates is an independent, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to the cure and prevention of the many forms of cancer and the reduction of its debilitating effects through aggressive basic seed money research, cancer information, and awareness.

“One exciting research project we are funding has developed a cream which has proven in preliminary testing to diminish Melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer, accounting for only 4 percent of all skin cancer cases but for 80% of all skin cancer related deaths,” Lamb explained. “The number of melanoma cases worldwide is increasing faster than that of any other type of cancer with an estimated doubling of melanoma incidence every 10-20 years.

“While early detection of primary lesions is associated with a favorable prognosis, the 5-year survival rate of patients with metastasis is less than 10 percent.” Lamb added. “This is just one of the many research projects which are showing promise towards finding a real cure, not just for skin cancer, but all forms of cancer,”

The Ferguson’s also announced their picks for Saute Chefs (speakers) at the event. First listed to take to the podium is a high school classmate and college roommate of Derek’s, Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Gentile. In addition some family members will speak, Lisa has chosen her cousin Debbie Helmick who is reported to be quite adept at spinning a yarn. The couple’s two sons, Ronnie and Bobby Ferguson will also have a turn at the podium to gently roast their parents. Finally a speaker who may turn up the heat on the event and transform it into a full blown roast, Lisa Poole. Lisa, a former competitor for Miss Ohio, is employed by D&L Ferguson, LLC as manager of the Carnation City Mall in Alliance. She gave some indication at the kick off luncheon that her saute would be memorable.

“Lisa and I are both honored to be chosen and look forward to some good natured fun,” Ferguson added. “We encourage other Ohio Valley residents to add their voices as contributors to this most worthy organization.”

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception followed by dinner at 7 and the program at 8.

Regular tickets are $125 each. and patron tickets (which include a program listing) are $200. Corporate tables also are available. To order tickets, contact the Ohio Cancer Research Associates office at (800) 232-6272.

Palmer can be reached at