Inaugural Black Dress, Yellow Tie

On June 13, RAI hosted over 150 guests at its Inaugural Black Dress Yellow Tie. The evening was an opportunity for RAI to educate and thank supporters, to demonstrate its growth in just two years as an official non-profit, and to raise money benefiting adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients.

A host of guest speakers, featuring Doug Ulman – President of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, inspired attendees by sharing their personal experiences and their commitment to Rise Above It in the fight against cancer.

With the generosity of individuals and community partners who donated gifts for a silent auction, along with support from event sponsors (listed below), RAI was able to raise $15,000 to benefit AYAs fighting cancer.


Guest Speakers

Dr. John Letterio, Rainbow/UH Pediatric Oncology Division Chief, gave an overview of the nationwide AYA crisis. He noted that the lack of awareness extends beyond the public and into the medical profession. "Doctors are not taught or trained to detect cancer in the AYA age group."


An RAI Beneficiary testified about her heroic journey with a rare form of blood cancer and the financial support RAI provided at a critical time during her treatment. "Man can live forty days without food, three days without water, eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope. That is precisely why programs like RAI are so important, they provide people like me hope that we would not otherwise have, hope that assures us of financial security and thus peace of mind, hope that enables us to continue pursuing our dreams, as I have." The beneficiary will begin her medical residency in the fall at Northwestern McGaw Medical Center.


Gary Waters, Cleveland State Head Men's basketball coach, revealed to the audience his own cancer treatment, spoke on the importance of faith in dealing with life's adversities and committed his support to RAI: "I am going to support Rise Above It; Cleveland State is going to support Rise Above It."


Doug Ulman, President of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, spoke candidly of his own AYA cancer survival and how the setting of unimaginable goals transformed his diagnosis into his life mission to help end the "cancer epidemic in America".

"This event and RAI's significant outreach efforts demonstrate a remarkable commitment to the cancer fight."


The event was proudly made possible with the support of:

Sponsor websites:

Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
University Hospitals - Ireland Cancer Center
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Magazine

For video of the recent Inaugural Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Symposium in Cleveland, presented by University Hospitals – Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Ireland Cancer Center and Rise Above It (RAI), please click here.


Special thanks to all of our supporters in attendance on June 13th!

Click here to view photos from the evening.


Additional thanks to The Discovery Band for the wonderful live entertainment.