15th Annual Tee Up For Tots Event Raises $90k for UA Steele Children’s Research Center and Family Support Program

Over the past 15 years, Tee Up For Tots has raised more than $1 million for the pediatric cancer research conducted by Steele Center investigators.

The 15th annual “Tee Up For Tots” golf tournament raised approximately $90,000 for its “Family Support Program” and pediatric cancer research at the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center.

The event took place at the Omni Tucson National Resort & Spa and included breakfast, a 19th hole luncheon and an awards ceremony.

A special tribute was held for Dave Sitton, who was the master of ceremonies for the fundraiser every year since its beginning. Sitton died unexpectedly on August 12. 

Jerry and Kathy Zillman founded Tee Up For Tots in 1999, to honor their daughter, Courtney Page Zillman, who passed away from neuroblastoma on November 25, 1999. She was only 4 years old. Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops in the nerve tissue. It most commonly affects children 5 or younger.

Since the devastating loss of their daughter, the Zillmans have supported the Steele Center and created the “Courtney Page Zillman Fellowship,” which supports a promising young graduate student for two years to conduct pediatric cancer research at the Steele Center. They have raised more than $1 million for pediatric cancer research conducted by Steele Center researchers over the past 15 years.

One area of research that has been supported by Tee Up For Tots is the development of cancer immunotherapies—treatment utilizing one’s immune system to help fight cancer. Led by Steele Center researcher Emmanuel Katsanis, MD, professor and director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program at the UA Cancer Center, Dr. Katsanis and his team have worked for more than 15 years developing promising new therapies that are nearing clinical trials.

“We’re so grateful to Tee Up For Tots for their continuing support of our pediatric cancer research,” said Dr. Katsanis. “Their support enables us to move research forward.”

A slideshow of the event is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TbVvwf2yug&feature=youtube_gdata