Sun Health Foundation Gala 2015SURPRISE, ARIZ. – Nov. 14, 2015 – “Someday is today” is a favorite expression of JoAnn Shaw, chair of the committee planning Sun Health Foundation’s 2015 gala, which will raise funds for cancer care in the West Valley.

Shaw’s “get-it-done-today” attitude stems from her own battles with cancer, her volunteer work serving children with cancer and her experience raising funds for a variety of charitable causes. “I’m lucky to be alive,” said Shaw, who is a four-time survivor of cancer. “That’s why I relish each day.”

Shaw and her fellow committee members are bringing that same enthusiasm to the 2015 Healthy SUNsations Gala, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 7 at Wigwam Arizona in Litchfield Park. The theme for this year’s event is, “Dream the Impossible Dream,” and all proceeds will benefit cancer treatment and prevention services at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center in Sun City West.

 “It’s going to be a fun evening, with great entertainment, auction items and an after-party,” she said.

New this year is a Pre-Gala online auction offering some great prizes. Auction items include a VIP trip to Los Angeles to attend a taping of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and to meet stars Alex Trebek, Pat Sajak and Vanna White; an eight-night stay in a private villa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; the chance to become a Sonoma Valley winemaker at the Imagery Estate Winery, and much more. For more information, visit

Shaw’s long career in human resources administration – much of it in hospitals in the Midwest – and her own experiences fighting cancer have given her a deep empathy for seriously ill patients. During her work life, she volunteered for many health-related nonprofits, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Alzheimer’s Association and the March of Dimes.

JoAnn Shaw

JoAnn Shaw

She’s retired now but continues to be very involved with a national group called “Ryan’s Case for Smiles.” Volunteers with the local group sew an average of 350 colorful pillowcases each month, and present them to children in hospitals. Each month, Shaw and another volunteer go to one of the pediatric hospitals in the Phoenix area where they let kids pick out a fabric pattern and show them how to sew their own pillowcases.

Shaw also recently joined the Sun Health Foundation board of trustees, which is stepping up its efforts to raise money for cancer care through the gala and other efforts.

“We’re making progress against cancer but we need to keep telling the story and raising money,” Shaw said.

Major sponsors for the 2015 Gala include gold sponsors: Banner Health and The Weitz Co. Silver sponsors are Ensemble Real Estate Solutions, Northern Trust, N.A., The CORE Institute and Wells Fargo. And, bronze sponsors are Aetna, Bankers Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona Advantage, BMO Harris Private Bank, CornerStone Partners LLC, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Grand Canyon University, HilgartWilson, LLC, Orcutt/Winslow Partnership, Plante Moran  and Wilhelm Automotive.

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