Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption
18 November 2009




Proceeds of Gala Event to Benefit World-Renowned Research/Treatment Center

ST. LOUIS, MO.: The Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center are planning a “bling-a-ding ding” celebration for their 7th annual “Denim & Diamonds” event, taking place on Saturday, September 26 from 6:30 until midnight at the Westport Sheraton Lakeside Chalet.

Just as the top-ranked Saint Louis University Liver Center is a “diamond’ within the St. Louis medical community, the Friends organization is inviting supporters to dress casually in their best denim, but to wear their best “bling” to show their support of the organization and the life-saving research and treatment they provide to patients from all over the world.

KSDK-TV Newschannel 5 Investigative Reporter and Anchor Leisa Zigman is the Master of Ceremonies for the evening’s festivities, which will include a cocktail reception, a sumptious three-course sit-down dinner, a live and silent auction with fabulous prizes such as an exclusive Jimmy Buffett concert package. Guests will close out the evening with great dance music from the musical group “Siren”.

Mr. and Mrs. John Alberici will serve as the Honorary Chairpersons. Major “Denim & Diamonds” supporters include the following companies and organizations:

  • Gold Level – Schering Plough Corporation, Special Design Health Care
  • Silver Level – Alberici Foundation and Express Scripts
  • Bronze Level – Weiss Brentwood Volvo, Dula Foundation, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Romark Laboratories, Pharmassett, Inc. and Novartis

Other sponsors include: Roche, St. Louis Bank, Delmar Gardens, Dowd Bennett LLP and Huntleigh Securities.

The “Denim & Diamonds” event is the annual major fundraiser, sponsored by Friends of the SLU Liver Center, which supports the research efforts of the world-renowned Saint Louis University Liver Center for the treatment and cure of liver diseases, and promotes understanding and awareness of liver disease. All money raised by the organization stays in the St. Louis area to perform life-saving research and treat patients in St. Louis.

One of the SLU Liver Center’s better-known patients is Naomi Judd, who was part of the Grammy-winning duo “The Judds” and is a best-selling author and motivational speaker.

After being diagnosed with hepatitis C and given just three years to live, Naomi Judd became a patient at the Saint Louis University Liver Center and credits co-founder Dr. Bruce R. Bacon and his team for saving her life. Judd, who initially kicked off the first “Denim & Diamonds” event in 2003, will return to support the Friends organization and SLU Liver Center as the Inspirational Speaker for the “Denim & Diamonds 7” gala event.

“Each day we are discovering that more people are suffering from liver disease, including hepatitis C and B, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, auto immune liver disease and liver cancer,” said Dr. Bacon. “Many believe there’s little hope after being diagnosed, but there are new treatments and there is hope.”

Dr. Bacon believes there are critical reasons to support Friends of the SLU Liver Center:

  • The Saint Louis University Liver Center enjoys worldwide recognition as a center of excellence.
  • Hepatitis C affects 5 million people in the U.S. One in 60 people have hepatitis C, and nearly two-thirds of those people do not know they have it.
  • Hepatitis C can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and is curable in about 60% of patients.
  • In addition to hepatitis C, there are over 30 other liver diseases which can be diagnosed and for which there are treatments.
  • All money raised by the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center stays in the St. Louis area to support programs in education and research in liver diseases.

The Friends organization has raised and donated more than $1.7 million for the SLULC since its inception. The funds help support the critical infrastructure of the Liver Center from faculty salaries to visiting professorships and patient-oriented seminars and research. By leveraging the donations of the Friends, the Liver Center is able to use the “seed money” as a match for larger grants from outside sources that generate $18 new dollars from outside the region for every $1 raised locally.

Tickets for the “Denim & Diamonds 7” event are $200 per person, or a table of ten is available for $2,000. The Friends organization is also looking for additional corporate sponsors at various investment levels. Information about sponsorships and ticket reservations are available through the Friends office by calling 314-576-3078

Additional information about the “Denim & Diamonds 7” event at Westport Sheraton Lakeside Chalet hotel can be found at the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center’s website at, or by calling 314-576-3078.

For further information, contact: Leisa Duff 314-576-3078


Leave a Reply