New York -- A renovated Radio City Music Hall here reopens
today (Oct. 4) with a celebratory event that will double as a sentimental benefit.
Billy Crystal, Liza Minelli, Tony Bennett and other
luminaries will perform in an event that will be broadcast as a one-hour NBC special Dec.
And after the concert, advisory-board members of The
Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research will dine on the Rockefeller Plaza
ice-skating rink, joined by other media executives, prominent researchers and grant
The idea is to build support for the foundation's goals:
earlier detection, effective treatment and, ultimately, a cure for pancreatic cancer.
Named for Marc Lustgarten, former Madison Square Garden
chairman and vice chairman of Cablevision Systems Corp., the foundation's aim is to raise
public awareness, to secure funding and other support to develop prevention strategies and
to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer of the pancreas.
Currently, there are no tests, no warning, no effective
treatment and no cure for pancreatic cancer, according to the foundation.
Lustgarten died of the disease Aug. 30, 16 months after it
was diagnosed. He was 52. Cablevision owns the management company that runs Radio City.
Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan recruited a big-name
cast to the foundation, led by Jimmy Carter as advisory-board chairman. The former
president -- who lost his father, brother and two sisters to pancreatic cancer -- recently
taped a public-service announcement for the foundation.
In alphabetical order, the board also includes Hearst Corp.
CEO Frank A. Bennack Jr., USA Networks Inc. chairman Barry Diller, Cablevision CEO James
Dolan, Discovery Communications Inc. chairman John S. Hendricks, CBS Corp. CEO Mel
Karmazin, Time Warner Inc. chairman Gerald M. Levin, Liberty Media Group chairman John C.
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, Viacom Inc. chairman
Sumner M. Redstone, Sony Corp. of America chairman Howard Stringer and NBC president
Robert C. Wright.
In a prepared statement, Wright said, "This will be a
bittersweet evening for us. Marc was a good friend to so many of us in the industry."
The foundation also established a scientific-advisory panel
and a multimillion-dollar grant program. In January, multiyear funding grants were awarded
to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, University of Nebraska
Medical Center and University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. More grants will be
announced this week.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer
deaths among both men and women.
Inquiries regarding the foundation can be directed to Dr.
Robert F. Vizza, president, The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, c/o
The DeMatteis Center of St. Francis Hospital, Northern Boulevard, Old Brookville, N.Y.,