Tony Award-winner and five-time Tony Award nominee
CancerCare presented the 2021 CancerCare Virtual Gala on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. The gala is a vital
source of funding for CancerCare and the organization’s premier event for its trustees, donors and business leaders.
6:30 p.m. Virtual Journal
7:00 p.m. Virtual Program
9:00 p.m. Online Auction Closes
Meet Our Committee
Managing Partner at Barasch & McGarry
The September 11th terrorist attacks shocked the world. First responders and thousands of individuals were exposed to harmful toxins when they returned to downtown Manhattan to work, to live, and to attend or teach at school. These people are still living a nightmare with respiratory disorders, cancers, and other disabling conditions linked to this exposure.
Barasch & McGarry is proud to have represented James Zadroga, an NYPD detective who developed pulmonary fibrosis as a result of his exposure to the deadly 9/11 toxins. His death persuaded Congress to pass the “James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.” The act reopened the first 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to provide benefits to those suffering with the harmful consequences of toxic exposure to the World Trade Center dust.
When it became clear that Congress had not sufficiently funded the VCF, Michael relentlessly lobbied Congress with labor union members, responders, downtown office workers and downtown residents.
In 2015, Congress reauthorized the Zadroga Act. This extended the WTC Health Program for 75 additional years, and the VCF was given an additional $4 billion. But the VCF was only extended until December 2020; that is, until fairly recently.
From October 2018 through June 2019, Michael and several attorneys and staff from Barasch & McGarry joined dozens of first responders, FealGood Foundation volunteers, and comedian and 9/11 advocate Jon Stewart to advocate on behalf of the entire 9/11 community. They made dozens of trips to Washington D.C. to secure the permanent extension and full funding of the $10+ Billion VCF. He was there when the U.S Senate overwhelmingly passed the “Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeiffer, & Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Act,” which reauthorized and fully funded the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Michael was invited by the White House to appear at the Rose Garden signing of the permanent extension and full funding of the law on July 30th, 2019.
The firm now represents more than 20,000 responders, downtown residents, office workers, students, and teachers who have been sickened by the 9/11 toxins. Barasch & McGarry has represented more 9/11 victims and recovered more money from the Victim Compensation Fund (over $2 billion) than any other law firm in the country. 9/11 didn’t end on 9/11. Michael is honored to represent the 9/11 community and feels blessed to be able to help so many people.
With Barasch & McGarry located just steps from Ground Zero, they witnessed the pain of the 9/11 attacks first-hand. Many in their office have since developed 9/11-related illnesses and some have passed away. They felt the impact that day and continue to feel it today.
No one has filed more claims with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund or helped more people enroll in the free World Trade Center Health Care program. They are the sole law firm that has advocated for the rights of the 9/11 community from the very start making numerous trips to Washington to successfully lobby Congress for all those exposed to the toxic dust from the September 11th attacks.
Tony Award-winner and five-time Tony Award nominee, Laura Benanti, is a highly celebrated stage and screen actress, who recently ended her critically acclaimed run on Broadway as Eliza Doolittle in Lincoln Center’s revival of “My Fair Lady.” Her television credits include “Younger,” “The Detour,” “Supergirl,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Nashville,” “The Good Wife,” “Elementary,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Big C,” NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live” and her heralded turn as First Lady Melania Trump on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Other Broadway credits include Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower, Amalia Balash in She Loves Me (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee), Gypsy Rose Lee in Gypsy opposite Patti LuPone (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Tony nomination, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards winner), Into the Woods (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations), In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, The Wedding Singer, Nine (starring Antonio Banderas). Other distinguished theater performances include Perdita in The Winter's Tale at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Anne in A Little Night Music at the L.A. Opera, Eileen in Wonderful Town, and Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella, both for City Center Encores!
Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization dedicated to providing free, professional support services including case management, counseling, support groups, educational workshops, publications and financial assistance to anyone affected by cancer. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.
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