PALMY DAYS: Gala for Life fundraiser benefits Rockefeller Cancer Institute

Dr. Cam Patterson, UAMS Chancellor, with event chairs Kim and Chris Fowler of Key West, Fla., at Gala for Life, the yearly fundraiser for the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. The black-tie event was held Sept. 22, 2023, in the Statehouse Convention Center's Wally Allen Ballroom in Little Rock.(Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Helaine R. Williams)

"Sunset Under the Palms: A Key West Soiree" was the theme of the 2023 Gala for Life, benefiting the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences' Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and presented by the Willard & Pat Walker Foundation. The black-tie gala was Sept. 22 in the Wally Allen Ballroom of the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

This year's event was chaired by philanthropists Kim and Chris Fowler, residents of Jonesboro and Key West, Fla. Their Florida home inspired the theme.

A cocktail reception (featuring a signature drink, the Hemingway) preceded a dinner whose main course was a Moho Marinated 6-ounce Filet paired with Key West Shrimp. Dessert was, of course, Key Lime Pie.

Daniel Robinson steered a program that included remarks from featured cancer survivor Tom Wages and video footage featuring others who'd benefited from institute services.

Two live auction items went to lucky bidders. One was a private dinner for four with "real royalty" -- Prince Lorenzo de'Medici, a Rome-Los Angeles resident and direct descendant and heir to the family whose name has dominated many a Western Civilization course. The other was an opportunity for four guests to have breakfast and browse at the legendary Tiffany & Co. in New York. An upscale raffle bore the prize of a classic Bentley automobile.

-- Story and photos by

Helaine R. Williams