By Sarah Kuper
The 7th annual James Bond-themed gala benefitting Radiation Oncology Accelerated Research is known for swanky styles, one-of-a-kind auction items and, of course, raising money and awareness for local cancer research.
Every year, the gala honors someone in the community who has contributed to the cause and to the community.
Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens is the 2018 honoree. At the Jan. 27 event, Stephens will be celebrated for his work in public service and for striving to improve quality of life for those who are battling cancer.
As a lifelong Bessemer resident, Stephens represents District 3 and has served in other leadership positions in the community. His roles have included chairman of the Bessemer Airport Authority and chairman of the Bessemer commercial development authority.
In addition to his duties as commission president, Stephens serves on the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Authority board of directors, the Department of Health board, the Birmingham Business Alliance board and the Rotary Club of Birmingham.
Stephens said he encourages anyone passionate about the “license to cure” initiative of the Roar gala to apply many of the same principles of county government to the fight against cancer’s devastating effects.
“Your Jefferson County Commission utilizes the ‘C’ attitudes for success,” he said, “We communicate, cooperate and coordinate to ensure achievement. Roar depends on an equally important set of ‘C’ attitudes for its success. We must cancel cancer with coordinated contributions.”
Roar’s approach to fighting cancer is unique in that proceeds of donations are matched dollar for dollar by physicians at the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology.
All the money goes toward local efforts and building world-class physician collaborations in Birmingham.
Run by volunteers, Roar members stay in close contact with physicians to keep apprised of successes and needs.
Since 2009, Roar contributors have raised well over $1 million dollars, and that’s before the money was matched by UAB physicians.
Organizers hope one-in-a-lifetime auction items such as a romantic evening with Bruno Mars in Las Vegas and trips to Tuscany or Africa or a golf trip to Ireland will garner excitement and donations.
The James Bond, “Dr. Cure,” gala is Jan. 27 at The Club. To learn more about Roar, visit roarthecure.org. ❖