On far right, Lindsay Marottoli Greenberg, president of The Melissa Marottoli Hogan Foundation, with her twin sister, center, Melissa Marottoli, who died at age 31 of lung cancer. On left is older sister Kristen Marottoli Peck. Said Lindsay: “I know my sister [Lindsay’s identical twin] would be doing the same thing if she were here.”

BRANFORD >> On Feb. 25, 7 p.m. The Melissa Marottoli Hogan Foundation’s Gala for a Cure takes place at the Woodwinds.

More than 500 attendees support this event, which in addition to family and friends of the late Melissa Marottoli Hogan, has grown to attract the presence of elected state and local officials, renowned doctors from near and far and area business owners. The annual event raises funds for an immunotherapy study at Smilow Cancer Hospital that has proven to have promising outcomes in late stage cancers. This means, the study has led to a cancer-free life for some patients.

The MMHF works directly with Dr. Scott Gettingher, one of world’s leading doctors in immunotherapy research, and who conducts his research out of New Haven’s Smilow Cancer Hospital. Immunotherapy has replaced toxic chemotherapies as first line therapy for patients with advanced cancers whose tumors express a particular marker.

This year’s Gala will feature a live and silent auction, four-course dinner, entertainment by Timmy Maia and The Heartbeat Band, and lots of dancing. Live auction items in the past have included signed guitars from big name artists, European or Caribbean getaways, and fine jewelry. More than $300,000 has been raised thus far with no paid employees and 100 percent of the profits donated to immunotherapy.

The foundation is still seeking sponsors to help execute the Gala for a Cure, accepting donations for the live and silent auctions and there are volunteer opportunities available. To be a part of this event, please visit www.mmhforacure.org or email info@MMHforacure.org. Tickets, $100 per person, can be purchased through the website, or Eventbrite, www.mmhgalaforacure.eventbrite.com.

Founded by the family and friends of Melissa Marottoli Hogan, who lost her battle with lung cancer at 31 years of age, the Foundation was established to honor her life and seek to support ground-breaking lung cancer research, to promote lung cancer awareness, and to provide assistance to lung cancer afflicted families.

— Submitted press release