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Denim & Diamonds Fundraiser Reveals Hundreds of Auction Items

October 10, 2017

Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI) at Southern Illinois University Medicine 's 17th annual Denim & Diamonds fundraiser Saturday will feature more than 400 auction items, including luxury vacation rentals, first class airfare, one-of-a-kind artwork and more. Denim & Diamonds will take place Saturday, October 14, at the Crowne Plaza Springfield. The event includes live and silent auctions, raffles, live entertainment and dinner.

“Denim & Diamonds provides something for everyone, whether it’s a unique vacation experience in the live auction, a date night package featuring a movie tickets and dinner in the silent auction or a raffle ticket for a great prize,” Sarah Albanese, chair of the 2017 event. “Every dollar raised at Denim & Diamonds stays in our region. We’re able to see what donated dollars do at Simmons Cancer Institute,” she added.

“Funds raised at the event are used for cancer research through our Team Science Grants,” said Aziz Khan, MD, executive director of SCI. Khan is also the chief of hematology and oncology and a practicing oncologist at SCI. “Team Science Grants provide the initial dollars to gather the evidence and data needed to pursue and win a national federally-funded grant. Donations are critically important to our research enterprise.”

To see a list of auction items, view the 2017 Auction Catalog.

This year’s presenting sponsors are Memorial Health Systems and Simmons Hanly Conroy.

Major sponsors are Jeff and Tina Bennett; Merrill Lynch - The Noonan Group; Ameriprise Financial – Steve Koch, CFP; BUNN and Clinical Radiologists.

Other sponsors include Bank of Springfield; BRANDT; Heritage Health of Springfield/Regency Care; Aziz and Tarfa Khan, Gina Kovach and Dave Steward, Jerry and Lois Kruse, Dr. Kevin T. and Pat McVary, and Southern Illinois Healthcare.


Media sponsors are Capitol Radio Group, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Neuhoff Media, The State Journal-Register and Springfield Scene magazine.

The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer needs through education, research, patient care and community service.