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Daily Herald (Des Plaines) 11/15/06

Woman’s family to hold fundraiser in her name

By Eileen O. Daday
Daily Herald Correspondent
Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Des Plaines family’s quest to raise funds — and awareness — in the fight against brain cancer, continues to gain momentum.

Driven by the death of their daughter, Lori Arquilla Andersen — who was diagnosed three months after she was married, and lived for 22 months — family members again will hold the “Gray Tie Ball” to advance their cause.

The gala event takes place at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Casa Royale Banquets in Des Plaines, and will include key medical presenters, in addition to the live entertainment, dinner, silent auction, and raffle featuring a pair of Bears’ playoff tickets, among other prizes.

Dr. Jeff. Raizer, a Northwestern Memorial Hospital neuro-oncologist, will update guests on the clinical trials at Northwestern, as well as the hospital’s brain tumor research fund. The evening also will feature an address by brain cancer survivor David Bouhls, who was diagnosed one month after Andersen, with the same type of cancer.

Following Andersen’s death in July 2005, family members formed the Lori Arquilla Andersen Foundation, in her memory. In a little over a year, foundation members have mobilized supporters through a walkathon in April at Friendship Park in Des Plaines, and at Six Flags Great America’s Coasters for a Cause Charity Day in May.

The second annual Gray Tie Ball brings them back full circle, to their first fundraising effort held one year ago at the same location.

“It’s a very upbeat evening filled with laughter and hope,” said Linda Magiera of Des Plaines, foundation president and Andersen’s mother.

“The first year we drew mostly family and friends, that all knew Lori,” Magiera adds, “but now word has spread and we’re drawing people from all over who have been touched by this disease.”

One of the highlights is an encore from last year, as organizers show a five-minute film about Andersen and her story. Called “live, love, ‘laaf,’æ” it encourages viewers to live life to the fullest, love unconditionally, and “laaf” — an acronym taken from the initials of the foundation — through life’s toughest challenges.

Tickets for the gala are $100 per person, and reservations must be made by Monday. For more information, visit: www.laafinc.org, or call Magiera at (847) 561-1199.

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