Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic awards $58,000 check | SierraSun.com

Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic awards $58,000 check

Community submitted photo/Via aedgett@sierrasun.coFrom left: Tom Hobday, president, Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research, Terri Upshaw and Dr. Thomas Semrad, of the UC Davis Pancreatic Cancer Research hold a $58,000 check from the Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic.
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE andamp;#8212; Terri Upshaw, Gene Upshaw’s widow, presented a check in the amount of $58,000 to Dr. Thomas Semrad at the Second Annual Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic (GUMGC) players’ reception held July 11, 2010. The proceeds of this annual event provide a new source of funding for pancreatic cancer research through the Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research along with benefiting Tahoe Forest Health System. After reviewing numerous candidates’ credentials, The Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research carefully selected Dr. Semrad, who is with the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of California at Davis Medical Center. He is recognized as a high quality junior researcher and is identified as a doctor who will make a notable difference in the field of pancreatic cancer research.andamp;#8220;We understand that early research dollars are difficult for junior faculty to receive, and we wanted to jump start a young researcher’s career,andamp;#8221; said Martha Simon, chief development officer with Tahoe Forest Health System. andamp;#8220;This is just the beginning of what we’ll be contributing to pancreatic research.andamp;#8221; Dr. Thomas Semrad grew up in Oakland, Calif. and spent most of his time on the golf course, prior to pursuing his medical career. He graduated from UC Davis on a Regent’s Scholarship and went on to Medical School at Rush University in Chicago. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at UC Davis, in addition to his fellowship in hematology/oncology. Recently, Dr. Semrad completed a Masters of Advanced Studies in Clinical Investigation as part of the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program at UC Davis.andamp;#8220;Words alone cannot express my sincere gratitude for having been chosen to receive the $58,000 to be used toward pancreatic research. This amount of money will greatly assist me with my work,andamp;#8221; said Dr. Semrad. andamp;#8220;My current research project is a phase II clinical trial of gemcitabine and intermittent erlotinib in advanced pancreatic cancer. I plan to use the funds on translational research using specimens from this trial.andamp;#8221; Similar to the life of Gene Upshaw, Dr. Semrad’s Uncle, Jack, also loved and owned a home in North Lake Tahoe. Playing golf during his retirement was Jack’s passion. Sadly, Jack died at Tahoe Forest Hospital, in Truckee of colon cancer while Dr. Semrad was still in high school. His Uncle’s fight with cancer ignited Dr. Semrad’s passion to find a cure for this disease. The Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic is an annual charity event honoring the life of Gene Upshaw, who died of pancreatic cancer Aug. 21, 2008 at Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee at the age of 63. The players’ reception was held Sunday evening, July 11 at The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe. The following day, the GUMGC was held at The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing. The check presentation and golf charity event brought some big names in the NFL to honor sports legend Gene Upshaw and raise funds for pancreatic cancer research. Preliminary proceeds for this year’s charity tournament are estimated to be more than $100,000.Gene Upshaw served as the executive director of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) from June 1983 to August 2008, after a successful 16-year career as a player. During that time, Upshaw worked diligently at enhancing, protecting and defending the individual rights of professional football players throughout the National Football League. Upshaw also served as chairman of National Football League Players Incorporated.Sponsors for this year’s event included: The NFL Players Association; The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing; The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe, Dewey andamp; LeBoeuf, LLP; Northstar-at-Tahoe; EA SPORTS; Matson and Isom; Blase Design; Silver Oak; Gatorade; Pepsi and Reebok.andamp;#8220;The NFLPA is proud to be a sponsor of the Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic,andamp;#8221; said DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA. andamp;#8220;The Classic honors a great man, and it supports a very important cause in raising funds for pancreatic cancer research. We look forward to watching this annual event grow.andamp;#8221;For more information about Tahoe Forest Health System, visit http://www.tfhd.com. For more information about The Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic, visit http://www.gu63.org.andamp;#8212; Submitted via aedgett@sierrasun.com