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Dr. Steven Brem Named 2012 Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award Recipient

April 2, 2012 - Chicago, Illinois

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has named Dr. Steven Brem, chief of the division of Neurosurgical Oncology in thePerelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, as the recipient of the 2012 Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award. Dr. Brem is a member of the American Brain Tumor Scientific Advisory Council and a longtime supporter of the ABTA.

The Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award is given annually to an individual, organization or group that through philanthropy, advocacy, discovery or patient care, has had a major impact on the ability of the American Brain Tumor Association to achieve its mission. The award was established in 2010 in honor of the Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Memorial Foundation, which has raised over $1 million for the American Brain Tumor Association.

Dr. Brem currently leads the Penn Brain Tumor Center, a multi-disciplinary center which aims to rapidly move from scientific discovery to patient recovery.

“The most important discoveries in the field of brain tumor research are yet to be made,” noted Dr. Brem, “but with the cancer genome project focused on brain tumors and incredible tools available for brain mapping, we are in a unique position at Penn to translate scientific breakthroughs into clinical progress.”

Since 1983, Dr. Brem has performed over 3600 brain surgeries, participated in over 100 clinical trials, and researched the discovery and translation to the clinical arena of novel inhibitors of angiogenesis and glioma invasion. He also chaired the National Comprehensive Cancer Network committee that developed national guidelines for the state-of-the-art treatment of a variety of brain tumors.

From 1997 to 2011, Dr. Brem led the Neuro-Oncology Program and was director of the Neuro-Oncology Research Laboratory at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. Additionally, he sat on the Moffitt Clinical Adivsory Committee that helped create the guidelines for that facility’s brain tumor patient education center, which was funded by the ABTA and was the first such center in the nation.

“Dr. Brem exemplifies every aspect of the Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award,” said Elizabeth M. Wilson, president and CEO of the American Brain Tumor Association. “From research to care to philanthropy, his accomplishments and his scope of service—both the ABTA and to those living with brain tumors—are truly the embodiment of this award.”

The award was presented on Saturday, March 24, at The Union League of Philadelphia during the annual JAG Fund Gala.


The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) presented its first Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award to the Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Memorial Fund during the Fund's recent Gala at Philadelphia's Union League. The award was established by the American Brain Tumor Board of Directors this year to honor the Joel A Gingras, Jr. Memorial Fund (The JAG Fund) and its more than 20-year commitment to, and unprecedented level of philanthropic support of, the American Brain Tumor Association and its mission. The board also voted unanimously to recognize the Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Memorial Fund as the inaugural award recipient.

Since 1989, the Gingras family has supported the American Brain Tumor Association through the Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Memorial Fund in honor and memory of their brother and son who died in 1988 from a brain tumor. Last year, the JAG Fund surpassed the $1 million fundraising mark.

The award will be given annually to an individual, organization or group that, through philanthropy, advocacy,
discovery or patient care, has had a major impact on the Association's ability to achieve its mission. "This is truly a remarkable achievement and a testament to the love and generosity Joel continues to inspire in his family and friends," said American Brain Tumor Association Board of Directors Vice President Claudette Yasell. "It is our expectation that this award will serve as an inspiration to others and as an enduring tribute to Joel and the entire Gingras family."

JAG Fund President Johnathan Gingras said the creation and continuation of the JAG Fund has allowed his family to remember Joel, while working to help others. "I think I can speak for my entire family when I say that winning this
award is truly an honor, but having the ABTA create an award in Joel's name is our greatest achievement," said
Gingras. "We could not have succeeded without the love and support of all our board members (past and
present) who have sacrificed hours to make the JAG Fund what it is today. Without them and all of our dedicated
followers we would not have made the impact that we did. I hope this award will help inspire others to make
extraordinary efforts to help us all reach our ultimate goal of eliminating brain tumors."

In addition to the Gala, the Gingras family hosts a multi-day event in Bucks County, Pennsylvania each August.
The weekend festivities include the JAG Golf Classic on a Friday; and a Delaware River Tube Float, barbeque,
and evening party with live music and
dancing on Saturday.

The JAG Fund Drinks from the CupStanley Cup

(Article from the 2008 JAG Fund Newsletter)

By Justin Reigle, Board Member, JAG Fund

The Joel A. Gingras Jr. Fund honors the eldest brother of six Gingras children. Joel died at 27 in 1988 from a brain tumor. Money collected is given to the American Brain Tumor Association.

BUCKINGHAM, PA — On a cold, foggy night in the middle of November, Johnathan Gingras, President of the JAG Fund, stood in Bill Clement’s kitchen in Buckingham, PA, and amongst a small gathering of people, spoke of  “mushroom clouds.”  He could have been talking about the swell in his heart, following a wonderful day of events that served to remember his brother Joel.  He could have been talking about the stress relieved, for the day almost never happened.  Or he may have just sipped too much champagne from Lord Stanley’s Cup.  Despite the bizarre imagery the close-knit group before him followed along, and Bill Clement shook his head with a slight snicker.  It was the ending to a perfect day.  And Jonathan Gingras was soaking it in.

The rich lore of the Cup details wonderful moments of celebration, and ridiculous nights of debauchery with those teams fortunate enough to earn the right to have their name engraved upon his rings.  In possession of those teams, the Cup has seen some wild times.  He was booted into the Rideau Canal by Ottawa team members in 1905.  He was accidentally left by the side of the road by Montreal Players in 1924, after they removed him from the trunk to replace a flat tire.  He sank to the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s pool in 1991.  He has appeared on the Howard Stern show, and dined with US Presidents.  But more recently, he has shown the ability to be more than eye candy.  In the last five years alone, Lord Stanley’s Cup has shown a philanthropic shine, having been part of raising over 4 million dollars in the name of charity.

Bill Clement first raised the Cup as part of a championship Philadelphia Flyers team in 1974, and again in 1975.  But despite the tradition of championship teams celebrating with the Cup, it wasn’t until 1995 that individual members of teams were able to take sole possession of the Cup for one or two days to spend with family and friends.  So when it became possible for former champions to spend time with the Cup, Bill Clement decided to do something special.  With the NHL’s blessing, he brought the Cup to Bucks County in the name of charity.

On Saturday, November 15th 2008, the Stanley Cup appeared at The Middle Bucks Institute of Technology in Jamison.  The JAG Fund, along with another charitable organization, NOVA (Network of Victims Assistance of Bucks County), was fortunate to join Bill Clement in hosting Lord Stanley’s Cup.  Clement wanted hockey fans of all ages to have the opportunity to get their picture taken with the Cup, and to rub elbows with a few of the Flyers’ most heralded former players.  Additionally, he wanted it to be a first class event, well organized, and something participants would cherish.  In order to achieve these goals, he asked NOVA (a charity he shows great affinity for) to summon its volunteers to help with the workload.  And to help plan the event, he asked for input from Johnathan Gingras and the JAG Fund. 

Having been introduced to the JAG Fund several years earlier by Hall of Fame Tuber Jay Altmeyer, Clement reached out.  Johnathan Gingras jumped at the offer.  Not only was this an opportunity to work with Bill Clement, come face to face with the Cup, and raise money for the JAG Fund, but most importantly it was the chance to expose the JAG Fund to an entirely new population of people.  That became Johnathan’s primary focus, and the collaboration paid off for both Clement and the JAG Fund.
The Stanley Cup has a hectic schedule.  It travels 250 days of the year.  And on the eve of the big event, Lord Stanley’s Cup was stuck in Toronto, with his guardian Mike Bolt, because heavy fog grounded all flights for the night.  Johnathan took responsibility to get the Cup to Bucks County, and he was running out of options.  But Jay Altmeyer, once again determining the fate of this occasion, called a friend of his in Toronto, and talked him into driving the Cup to Bucks County.  Following an 8 hour drive, Altmeyer’s friend, Joe Duplantis, and Lord Stanley’s Cup arrived at Clement’s home at 4:15am Saturday.  Another entry in Lord Stanley’s diary.  

A few hours later approximately 3,500 admirers came to pay homage.  Predominantly Flyers fans, they came from all over the greater Philadelphia area to get their picture taken with the Cup.  They waited in lines for almost 3 hours.  And they never complained. They stood in additional lines to get autographs from the likes of Brian Propp, Joe Watson, Dave Schultz, ladies favorite John LeClair, and of course Bill Clement.  They participated in an enormous Silent Auction with items ranging from autographed bottles of Bobby Clarke’s signature wine, to a hammer autographed by Dave “The Hammer” Shultz, to autographed Richards and Gagne jerseys, to two tickets to The 2009 Presidential Inauguration.  It was a hockey carnival.  Flyers orange and black flooded the venue.  Gary Dornhoffer was spotted mingling in the crowd. 

JAG Fund Vice President, Christian Gingras, noted the faithful outpouring, “It’s like Trekkies meet Flyers fans.”  They even booed down the few brave souls that entered the building in either Brodeur or Crosby jerseys.

Most importantly, throughout the entire day every person that entered the building passed by an enormous banner that read “JAG Fund:  Supporting Brain Tumor Research Since 1989.”

The fundraiser event produced $60,000, and the JAG Fund took in approximately $12,000 of that total to add to its 2008 fundraising.  As it turns out, Lord Stanley’s visit pushed the JAG Fund to a new fundraising record in its 25th year. 
Later that night in Bill and Cissie Clement’s kitchen, amid the hugs and toasts, and speeches and congratulations for an event well done, Johnathan Gingras spoke of  “mushroom clouds,” and Joel A. Gingras Jr’s jacket from St. Bonaventure hugged Lord Stanley. 

Fund-raising family honors brother's memory

By Joseph Gidjunis, Staff Writer

The Joel A. Gingras Jr. Fund honors the eldest brother of six Gingras children. Joel died at 27 in 1988 from a brain tumor. Money collected is given to the American Brain Tumor Association.

DOYLESTOWN —More than 100 people caught "Post Tube Float Depression" after attending a weekend of events to collect money for the JAG Fund.

The tube float, one of many JAG fund-raising activities for brain tumor research, was a 51/2-hour ride with friends and family down the Delaware River.

Started by family and friends in 1989, the Joel A. Gingras Jr. Fund honors the eldest brother of six Gingras children. Joel died in 1988 at 27 from a brain tumor. The JAG Fund was created the following year.

Brian Cardello has been attending the weekend-long fund-raiser each year since 1998. He raised close to $5,000 in pledges this year because he "loves" the weekend and said he knows he is doing something good for others.

"The Gingras family makes you feel really welcome, you spend a lot of time together, and you're floating down the river with a lot of good people," Cardello said. "It's hard not to have a good time, and you become depressed when you realize you have to wait another year for it to happen again."

Originally, the fund started small with friends and family, collecting close to $7,000 the first year. However, the organization has grown over the past 13 years, collecting more than $75,000 Aug. 2 and 3 and having more than 400 people participate. Each penny of the more than $400,000 collected is given to the American Brain Tumor Association to sponsor research and hospital research fellowships.

"The bottom line is that we never stopped," said Johnathan Gingras, president of the fund. "Other charities are great at first, but people sometimes lose interest. Ours kept growing because of the family involved in it."

Agreeing with his brother, Christian Gingras, the vice president, attributes the nonprofit's success to family, but also to a "changing of the guard."

Johnathan and his friends who were closer in age to Joel created the fund, Christian said. However, in 1998, the fund's board of directors changed from Johnathan's friends to the younger siblings' friends. The gap in age between the older siblings, Lisa and Johnathan, and the younger siblings, Martha, Christian and Matthew, is more than 10 years.

The same year of the change, Johnathan began focusing on the other major event, the golf classic. Christian remained focused on the tube float.

Since 1998, the number of participants and money collected has more than doubled and the fund is looking to grow again.

Mike Boytin, market director for the fund, said he turned golfers away this year because he reached the maximum he could register, 144.

Boytin added that he thinks the fund has grown from not only individual effort from the more than 20 board members and volunteers, but from corporate donations as well. He said more than 60 Doylestown businesses donated money or services to the fund and national businesses also donated. Tommy Hilfiger donated T-shirts on which to print the JAG Fund logo.

"It's definitely unique," said Naomi Berkowitz, the executive director of the American Brain Tumor Association. "In terms of the length of the time that they've been doing this, the weekend-long event and in the money they've raised. it's very significant."

Berkowitz said more than 100,000 people in the United States are diagnosed annually with a brain tumor. She added that the JAG Fund is funding research fellowships she believes will find a cure.

Johnathan said he thinks his brother Joel would be "amazed" at what he has inspired others to do.

"He'd be pretty proud and pretty flattered that people would go out of their way and do something unexpected like this," Johnathan said.

Fraternity Recognized

University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations UpDate - Vol. 16, No. 21, Feb. 27, 1997

Members of the UD chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity sent a $500 contribution to the JAG Fund, a charitable organization for brain tumor research, named in memory of Joel A. Gingras, who died in 1988 from complications from a brain tumor.

Joel's brother, Christian, is the treasurer of the fraternity.

The JAG Fund has sent the American Brain Tumor Association more than $75,000 since its inception in 1989.

In a letter to President David P. Roselle, Johnathan Gingras, president of the fund, wrote "The gift we received from PIKA came as a total surprise. This is another example of how beneficial this [Greek] system can be. All the students of PIKA should be applauded!"




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