Rod’s Day, a benefit event for cancer research, will celebrate its 20th anniversary beginning at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, July 14 at Mo’s Place, 203 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey.

The Hawaiian-themed party features a sky-diving exhibition, a buffet, multiple raffles and a silent auction. All proceeds will go to the California Oncology Research Institute (CORI) in Los Angeles, a world-renowned nonprofit cancer research institute.

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 20 years, Rod’s Day has been dedicated to supporting Dr. Anton Bilchik’s research efforts and CORI. Friends and family from the local area and from around the U.S. will again gather at the celebration to support the cause.

Having a strong belief in the power of collaboration, CORI works with other local laboratory facilities, thus saving monies raised for research, a group spokesperson said. CORI has also formed alliances with researchers in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Israel as well as the U.S. Army Medical Corps, all with a common mission “to find a cure for cancer,” the spokesperson said.

Those interested in contributing a raffle gift or silent auction item can contact CORI for details,

Alternatively, donations can be made online directly to CORI at:

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.

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