Recipients Chip Gaines, Jeff Rochford, Aubrey Barr Help Drive Largest Day in the Five Year History of the Award
NEW YORK., November 22, 2019 – AKTIV Against Cancer, the organization co-founded by legendary runner Grete Waitz, and Helle Aanesen, today announced that their fifth annual awards luncheon generated in excess of $100,000 in donations, the largest sum ever for the event. This year’s awards lunch was held at the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday November 14, and had author, television host, entrepreneur and philanthropist Chip Gaines as the recipient of the AKTIV Against Cancer Award. Gaines accepted the award in memory of the late elite runner Gabe Grunewald, who passed away earlier this year and had become close with Gaines and his wife Joanna. This year’s event was also hosted by motivational speaker, former American professional soccer player, winner of Survivor: Africa Ethan Zohn. Zohn is also a two-time cancer survivor and supporter of the organization.
“It’s bittersweet, for sure, but I was honored and humbled to receive this award. Gabe Grunewald made a lasting impression on everyone who knew her and I have no doubt her story will only continue to serve as an inspiration for others,” Gaines said. “I am determined to continue fighting this fight in her honor and doing my part to help further advance rare cancer research.”
Gaines is the co-founder of Magnolia, a Waco, Texas-based company he started with Joanna in 2003. In 2018, Chip launched Magnolia’s inaugural Silo District Marathon following a chance meeting with past AKTIV Against Cancer Inspiration Award recipient Grunewald. Since then, Chip has helped raise more than $1 million for the Brave Like Gabe Foundation – it is because of these philanthropic endeavors that AKTIV Against Cancer chose to honor Chip Gaines as the recipient of this year’s award.
In addition to the award to Gaines, AKTIV Against Cancer also honored two supporters for their work. Cancer survivor and advocate Aubrey Barr, who has run over 30 marathons with Fred’s Team, including the New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon. Additionally, longtime Fred’s Team coach Jeff Rochford has trained and coached thousands of Fred’s Team runners across finish lines. Fred’s Team, named in honor of New York City Marathon co-founder Fred Lebow, is Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s running program, which has raised more than $85 million for cancer research since 1995.
The luncheon was supported by Discovery, adidas and the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation. Previous honorees of this award include Dr. Jordan Metzl & Kikkan Randall (2018), The Rudin Family & the late Gabriel Grunewald (2017), Meb Keflezighi (2016), and Mary Wittenberg (2015).
For more information about AKTIV Against Cancer, please visit http://www.aktivagainstcancer.org.
ABOUT AKTIV AGAINST CANCER
AKTIV Against Cancer works to ensure that physical activity will become part of cancer treatment. We support cutting edge research on the benefits of exercise for the prevention and treatment of cancer, as well as the creation of fitness programs and facilities in cancer treatment centers. AKTIV Against Cancer was co-founded by 9-time NYC Marathon Champion and Norwegian running superstar Grete Waitz and current Executive Director Helle Aanesen in Norway in 2007. After among other having opened sixteen (16) physical activity centers in cancer hospitals throughout Norway, AKTIV Against Cancer established its official presence in the United States in 2014. AKTIV Against Cancer has committed to funding $3.3 million towards cutting edge exercise oncology research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The foundation also contribute to building up cancer treatment in Ethiopia by educating oncologists and cancer nurses and making sure their competence will be present at all University hospitals in the country.
Phone: +1 9735660870
AKTIV Against Cancer
207 Front Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10038