Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Pam Giangregorio
St Johns Hospital 

John Wayne Cancer Institute's 31st Annual Odyssey Ball

Honoree Ruth Weil Pledges $1.5 Million


Vince Bucci

(L-R) – Patrick Wayne (JWCI, Chairman and son of John Wayne) honorees Ruth Weil and Dr. Mark Faries and Anita Swift (JWCI Auxiliary President and granddaughter of John Wayne)

Internationally recognized surgical oncologist Mark B. Faries, MD, was honored with the "The Duke" Special Service Award and Institute benefactor and philanthropist Ruth Weil with the inaugural Dr. Donald L. Morton Legend Award at the 31st annual Odyssey Ball, April 9, 2016.

The event was held at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills. The yearly fundraising event benefits the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center and is organized by the John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary led by co-chairs Martha Harper, Colleen Pennell, Elizabeth Rawjee and Jessica Royer.

KTLA-TV anchor Kaj Goldberg hosted the "Cowboys and Legends" themed gala, which featured music and dancing to the Morgan Leigh Band. The event raised more than $750,000 to benefit the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center including a $100,000 donation from Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson.

A highlight of the evening was a surprise announcement that Ruth Weil is making a $1.5 million gift to endow the Ruth and Martin H. Weil Surgical Oncology Fellow at the Institute.

Since 1981, the family of John Wayne has been committed to pioneering cancer research in memory of their father, who died of cancer. For more than 30 years, the courageous and dedicated researchers at the John Wayne Cancer Institute have made groundbreaking discoveries that have changed the way cancer is detected, diagnosed and treated around the world. For more information, please visit


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