Hepatitis B Foundation Marks 25th Anniversary at 2016 Crystal Ball Gala

Annual event raises nearly $125,000 for research and outreach to eliminate hepatitis B that affects more than 12 million Americans and 2 billion people worldwide.

Doylestown, PA, April 21, 2016 --(PR.com)-- The Hepatitis B Foundation marked a quarter century as the global authority on hepatitis B at the 2016 Crystal Ball Gala, its premier event which raised nearly $125,000 to benefit the organization’s worldwide research, outreach and patient advocacy programs.

The gala fundraiser, “An Evening in Monte Carlo,” was held April 8 at the Warrington Country Club in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and included table casino games by Tumbling Dice, dinner and dancing, a silent auction and awards ceremony. The Presenting Sponsor for the event was Univest.

The foundation honored Dr. Bud Tennant with the 2016 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for advancing the science and medicine of hepatitis B. Dr. Tennant is Professor Emeritus at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and was unanimously selected for the Blumberg Prize in honor of his pioneering work with hepatitis B infection in woodchucks, the first and only animal model successfully used to definitively identify potential and approved therapeutics for hepatitis B.

“Humanity owes a tremendous debt to Dr. Tennant for his pioneering work in hepatitis research, which has been among the most important in the field,” said Dr. Timothy Block, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation and its research arm, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. “We are proud to present him with the highest scientific honor that we confer, and thank him for his years of dedicated research which has made it possible for us to envision a world without hepatitis B.”

The prize is named for Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg, who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1976 for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus. He and his colleagues also developed the blood test that is used to detect the virus and invented the first hepatitis B vaccine in 1969. A co-founder of the Hepatitis B Foundation Dr. Blumberg was actively involved with the organization until his passing in 2011.

Also at the gala, Joel Rosen, managing partner of High Swartz LLP and chairman of the board of the Hepatitis B Foundation, presented the 2016 Community Commitment Award to Renold Capocasale, founder and CEO of FlowMetric, Inc. The award honors his scientific achievements in flow cytometry and unwavering support of nonprofit organizations, including the work of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, to improve lives and enrich the community. The 2016 gala marked the foundation’s 25th anniversary since its creation in 1991.

“Over the past 25 years, our work has advanced the possibility of a cure for hepatitis B infection and liver cancer, which is well within our grasp,” said Dr. Block. “We could not do this work without the generous support of our donors and advocates, and tonight, we honor everyone who makes our work possible.”

The Hepatitis B Foundation’s 2016 Crystal Ball Gala was made possible with the generous support of Presenting Sponsor Univest Bank; Platinum Sponsors Arbutus Biopharma, ContraVir Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences, and Novira Therapeutics; Diamond Sponsors Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and Dynavax; Emerald Sponsors Allure West Studios, de Artfolio Design, FlowMetric, Fulton Bank, Furia Rubel Communications, High Swartz LLP, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals; Ruby Sponsors EisnerAmper, Fox Rothschild LLP, Gilmore & Associates, Penn Color, Synergy Pharmaceuticals, The Commonwealth Medical College, Worldwide Life Sciences Division, and Worth & Company; Sapphire Sponsors Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Glycotest, Kevin Kruse, Spark Nonprofit Consulting and S.R. Wojdak & Associates; and Media Sponsor Bucks County Herald.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The Hepatitis B Foundation is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to http://www.hepb.org, read our blog at http://wp.hepb.org, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215-489-4900.

About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute: The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute is an independent, nonprofit research institute established in 2003 by the Hepatitis B Foundation to conduct discovery research and nurture translational biotechnology in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. It was renamed in 2013 to honor Baruch S. Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus and co-founded the Hepatitis B Foundation. To learn more, visit www.blumberginstitute.org.
Hepatitis B Foundation
Rose Strong