During the 2019 Wistar Gala, more than 300 people united in the heart of Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts (PAFA) to honor the legacy of Wistar philanthropist Fran Tobin. Fran was a force of nature and major Wistar supporter, who, for the last 20+ years, gave her time and energy to putting Wistar on the map as a global biomedical research leader.
Winding throughout PAFA galleries, guests had opportunities to learn about the work being done at Wistar by observing cancer cells under a microscope and spending five-minute “speed science” rounds talking research with early-career researchers. A silent auction of priceless experiences and trips, Flyers and Sixers memorabilia, Wistar scientific imagery, and a curated selection of generously donated items from the Gala Committee, brought back the memory of Fran and her favorite things.
CBS health reporter Stephanie Stahl emceed the night’s program, which included a tribute video to Fran with special words from Wistar’s president & CEO Dr. Dario Altieri as well as close-knit family and friends.
After dinner, guests enjoyed Betting on Wistar Science – the evening’s theme based on one of Fran’s favorite forms of entertainment — with a full-fledged casino featuring multiple dealers and games.
The evening was a wonderful reminder of what Fran Tobin’s legacy means to the Wistar community, and what donors and supporters like her can accomplish in support of biomedical research.
See photos from the night: