On April 19, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) celebrated the individuals and organizations who share a passion for improving quality cancer care at its annual Ribbon of Hope® Awards Gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium. The honorees included actress and model, Karen Duffy; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Dr. Mark McClellan; Fortune magazine editor, Clifton Leaf; General Electric; the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and The Prostate Net. The evening also included a tribute to the late Celia Cruz.

Honorary co-chairs for the event were President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush. The master of ceremonies for the evening was Dan Abrams, Host of MSNBC’s ‘Abrams Report’ and NBC News Chief Legal Correspondent. Other distinguished speakers and guests included, Senator Edward M. Kennedy; Ted Kennedy, Jr.; His Excellency Jaime Aparicio, Ambassador of the Republic of Bolivia and Mrs. Pamela de Aparicio; Senator Conrad Burns; Her Royal Highness Princess Iman Al Hussein and philanthropist, Ms. Lilly Tartikoff. Actor George Clooney sent video remarks. More than 500 guests were in attendance to show their support for NCCS and cancer survivorship.

“I was honored to emcee NCCS’s annual awards gala. NCCS has been instrumental in helping to improve cancer care in America,” said Dan Abrams. “And, the crowd of supporters who attended this year’s gala demonstrates how important NCCS is for people with cancer and their families.”

The theme for this year’s Ribbon of Hope® Awards Gala was The Passion to Make a Difference. Passion is what drives NCCS to be a strong advocate on behalf of nearly 10 million cancer survivors across the country—a passion for improving quality care and helping survivors advocate for themselves. The event included a special tribute to Celia Cruz, the “queen of salsa,” that celebrated her passion for life, music and survivorship.

“NCCS applauds all of the honorees and presenters recognized at this year’s gala. They are passionate about what they are doing—endeavoring to improve our nation’s health care and the lives of people living with, through and beyond cancer,” commented Ellen Stovall, NCCS President and CEO.