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Black Tie International:
25th Annual Talk of the Town Gala
Photos by: 
Vince Bucci
ABCs Talk of the Town honorees The Game, Annalynne McCord and Billy Dee Williams.  Photo by:  Vince Bucci
ABCs Talk of the Town honorees The Game, Annalynne McCord and Billy Dee Williams








Dr. Anton Bilchik, Chief of Medicine at the John Wayne Cancer Institute presented the Spirit of Hope Award to AnnaLynne McCord.  Photo by:  Vince Bucci
 Dr. Anton Bilchik, Chief of Medicine at the John Wayne Cancer Institute presented the Spirit of Hope Award to AnnaLynne McCord
Nicole Murphy (left) and Lisa Brunson (right) presented the Humanitarian Award to The Game (center).  Photo by:  Vince Bucci

Nicole Murphy (left) and Lisa Brunson (right) presented the Humanitarian Award
 to The Game (center)

Billy Dee Williams was presented The Spirit of Entertainment Award.  Photo by:  Vince Bucci
Billy Dee Williams was presented The Spirit of Entertainment Award
Patrick Wayne (son of John Wayne and Chairman, John Wayne Cancer Institute), Gloria Gebbia (ABCs President) and Michael Wayne.  Photo by:  Vince Buci,
Patrick Wayne (son of John Wayne and Chairman, John Wayne Cancer Institute),
Gloria Gebbia (ABCs President) and Michael Wayne


(Los Angeles, CA – November 23, 2014)  Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies, (ABCs), hosted its 25th annual, star-studded Talk of the Town black-tie gala Saturday, November 22, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills.  Gala benefitted breast and prostate cancer research at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center. Award-winning actor, singer, writer and artist, Billy Dee Williams received the Spirit of Entertainment Award. Actress, director and women’s activist, AnnaLynne McCord, was honored with the Spirit of Hope Award.  Actor and rapper,
The Game, received the Humanitarian Award.   Sheri Rosenblum was Gala chair and Beverly Cohen, Décor chair.  The gala included a luxury boutique and silent and live auction items.

Comedian, rapper, actor and writer, Brandon T. Jackson, welcomed the more than 500 guests before introducing Madison Gebbia, who welcomed her grandmother, ABCs president Gloria Gebbia, her “philanthropic inspiration” to the stage to the tune of Laura Branigan’s hit single,“Gloria.”

“This year’s honorees have made incredible contributions to the arts and to philanthropy,” said Gebbia, “They have used their celebrity in ways that enrich and stimulate us, making us think as well as enjoy. We are especially grateful that they will have joined all of you tonight to help raise awareness and support of our mission to achieve a cure for breast and prostate cancer through the innovative research being conducted at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.”  

Jack Lerman, one of the original founders of the ABCs, was joined on stage by Gala chair, Sheri Rosenblum, adding their thanks to the evening’s supporters and again highlighting the exceptional work of the organization during the past 25 years.

Dr. Anton J. Bilchik, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Medicine at the John Wayne Cancer Institute,   presented the Spirit of Hope Award to actress, director and women’s activist AnnaLynne McCord.  Describing her as “more than just a pretty face,” Dr. Bilchik enumerated her on-going efforts to tackle sexual abuse and human trafficking throughout the world, helping to abolish slavery and empower young women to overcome abuse.  Calling McCord “a force of nature,” he noted the she was awarded the United States Congressional Honor for her work.

Actor and rapper, The Game, (aka Jayceon Terrell Taylor) accepted the Humanitarian Award from Nicole Murphy and Lisa Brunson. One of the best known rappers in the West Coast hip hop scene and a protégé of Dr. Dre, he has gone on to record some of hip hop’s most successful albums. The Grammy Award nominee, admittedly born into a world of gang-wars and hustling, used music to escape his early roots.  Today, thanks to a chance meeting in Australia with a young man who escaped war torn Sudan, a story that dramatically affected the rapper, Game has gone on to give away more than $1 million of his own money to people in need.

 One of the entertainment industry’s most prolific leading men, Billy Dee Williams, was presented the Spirit of Entertainment Award by Patrick Wayne, Chairman of the Board of the John Wayne Cancer Institute.  Williams made his feature film debut in 1959’s The Last Angry Man, followed by a host of television and stage roles, before capturing the part of real-life football player Gale Sayers in the seminal TV movie, Brian’s Song, a role that would garner him national acclaim. As a suave and dynamic leading man, Williams co-starred with such celebrated actresses as Diana Ross in both Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany, and Diahann Carroll in Dynasty.  Generations of George Lucas fans will remember Williams as the scoundrel Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back, a role which he reprised in The Return of the Jedi.  He won universal praise for his portrayal of Motown founder Berry Gordy in the ABC miniseries, The Jacksons: An American Dream, and an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his portrayal of a stern, yet loving father in the drama, The Visit. In 2006, the NAACP recognized Williams for his immense contribution to the arts with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Off camera, he is an accomplished painter, commissioned by many high-profile companies and personalities.  He currently has one of his works on display at the Smithsonian.

The evening concluded with a rousing performance by rock and roll legends, The Temptations, bringing the audience to their collective feet.


About the ABCs

The ABCs was formed 25 years ago by a group of dedicated philanthropists who had originally been associated with the Eddie Cantor Charitable Foundation, an organization that supported a variety of causes. These individuals wanted to devote all their charitable efforts and resources to eradicating cancer and unanimously chose to support progressive and innovative breast cancer and prostate cancer research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. Today, the Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies are over 150 members strong and growing. They dedicate their efforts to funding research in breast and prostate cancer at the Institute, and since 1990, have raised over $14 million. For more information, please visit


About JWCI

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 dedicated physicians and scientists at the John Wayne Cancer Institute have made groundbreaking discoveries that have changed the way cancer is detected, diagnosed and treated around the world.  Today, the tradition of excellence continues as the Institute spearheads new research advances, while training the next generation of leaders in the fight against cancer through its renowned Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program.  The Institute’s programs focus on melanoma, breast, neuro, prostate and gastrointestinal cancers, as well as innovative research in cancer genomics, molecular biomarkers, and chemo- and immunotherapies.  With its unique ability to rapidly turn scientific discoveries into novel approaches for early detection and treatment, John Wayne Cancer Institute provides immediate hope to cancer patients everywhere.  For more information, please visit



joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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