The 19th annual Rod’s Day, a benefit event for cancer research, is scheduled at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16 at Mo’s Place, 203 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey.

The Hawaiian-themed party features a sky-diving exhibition, a buffet, raffles and a silent auction. All proceeds will go to Dr. Anton Bilchik, Dr. Richard Essner and Dr. Ronald Hurst’s world-renowned cancer research efforts at their nonprofit organization, California Oncology Research Institute (CORI) in Los Angeles.

Admission to the event is free.

Since 1993, resident Dennis Fasone has hosted the annual event to raise funds for cancer research in memory of his son, Rod Fasone, who began his fight against colon cancer in 1990, during his junior year at Indiana University. Although he was only given 60 days to live at the time of diagnosis, Rod ended his fight in December 1992, an inspirational two years later, his father said.

For nearly 20 years, Rod’s Day has been dedicated to supporting Bilchik’s research efforts and most recently, the cancer research continued at CORI.

Having a strong belief in the power of collaboration, CORI utilizes the shared laboratory facility at UCLA Medical Center, thus saving monies raised for research, a group spokesperson said. CORI has also formed alliances with researchers in Europe, Australia, and Israel as well as the U.S. Army Medical Corps and other U.S researchers, all sharing information for the purpose of finding a cure to cancer.

Those interested in contributing a raffle gift or silent auction item can contact CORI for details, (310) 883-0096, or www.corigroup.org. Alternatively, donations can be made online directly to CORI at: www.corigroup.org/donate.html.

Joyce Eisenberg-Keefer has committed to a $1.5 million challenge “matching” grant which will double every dollar raised by Rod’s Day and other donations to CORI, an event spokesperson said.

More information on the event and Rod Fasone’s story can be found on the Rod’s Day Facebook page.

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