On Saturday, June 9, 2018 The John Wayne Cancer Institute Auxiliary held the 33rd annual Odyssey Ball which raised half a million dollars for cancer research, treatment, and education at the institute.
Kate Flannery, known for her role on the hit show The Office, brought humor and heart to event as host for the awards program. Following her welcome, former professional athlete turned entrepreneur, self-help guru, and New York Times Best Selling Author, Lewis Howes was presented with the prestigious “Generation of Hope Humanitarian” Award. Howes, a accepted the award from Anita Swift, John Wayne’s granddaughter and the current president of the Auxiliary.
Howes spoke to his work motivating people in all walks of life to rise above obstacles and strive for greatness as explored in his widely popular podcast ’The School of Greatness". Having conquered his own set of challenges, Howes has gone on to become and entrepreneur and philanthropist, serving as a Lifetime Advisory Board Member of Pencils of Promise. He acknowledged that while he is able to encourage his listeners to cut out and transcend the emotional and figurative “cancers” in their life and mind, the groundbreaking work of the doctors and researchers John Wayne Cancer institute gives hope to those suffering with a real cancer diagnosis.
Following Howe’s award, Swift proceeded to honor the organization’s past presidents with the “Trailblazer Award”. The past presidents include a group of 14 philanthropic women who have led the charge in raising more than $20 million dollars to date for crucial cancer research and education programs.
Swift also announced the end of her tenure as president and shared that she will be succeeded by current Auxiliary chair Martha Harper, who along with Shirley Lipstone, organized the event.
Set at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, the rustic outdoor venue set the perfect tone for the The Angels and Cowboys themed gala. The event began at 4:30 PM with cocktails and saloon games for guest to enjoy upon arrival. At 6:00 PM guests were seated for the awards presentation which was followed by dinner, dancing, and an auction at 7:00 PM. Other talent in attendance included Celeste Thorson (Actress, “How I Met Your Mother”), Camila Banus (Actress, “Days of Our Lives”), Hayley Gripp (actress, "Killer Kids), Adrian Dev (Actor, “Westworld”).
The 33rd Annual Odyssey Ball benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center was produced by Scott Mauro Entertainment, Inc., for the fifth consecutive year.