More than 700 attendees at Minneapolis-based Angel Foundation’s 12th annual Angel Gala Jan. 25 raised a record $511,000 at the Hilton Minneapolis. The funds raised will help the nonprofit organization provide emergency financial assistance, education and support for local adults with cancer and their families.

Last year, 624 guests generated $437,000. In 2012, 532 guests raised $280,000. The increase will help the organization reach out to help more Minnesotans when cancer strikes.

“All of us at Angel Foundation are grateful for and honored by the generosity of so many supporters at our most successful gala ever. The money raised on this night will set the course for our year, and be put to the very best use this year in helping local families facing cancer,” said Mark Wilkening, Angel Foundation president.

Actor James Denton emceed the gala. Jearlyn Steele narrated and performed, backed by the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir. Boogie Wonderland provided music for dancing.

About Angel Foundation

Since 2001, Angel Foundation has provided more than $4 million in emergency financial assistance and has helped more than 20,000 people through its programs. Angel Foundation offers two programs: The Emergency Financial Assistance program provides funds to adults in active treatment for cancer in the Twin Cities for non-medical basic needs such as food, gas, utilities and rent or mortgage payments. The Facing Cancer Together program provides education and support programs to families with young children and teens living with a parental cancer diagnosis.

Angel Foundation Origins

In 1964, a 16-year old Edina star athlete and student named Jim Deming died of leukemia. He left behind a grieving family, a best friend named Mark, and a special girlfriend named Margie. While Jim lay dying, Mark promised him that he would work in the field of cancer, and that he would always take care of Margie.

In college, Mark Sborov and Margie married, and following graduation, Mark started medical school. His specialty: oncology. Before long, Margie knew that she wanted to be involved in the field of cancer as well. She created a role as a patient advocate for cancer patients and was able to see first-hand many of the issues that cancer patients face and the heartbreaking decisions many have to make: “Do I buy my medication or do I pay my rent?” “Should I cut my medication in half and hope it works so that I can afford groceries to feed my family?” Margie felt compelled to start a non-profit organization that would meet these needs for adult cancer patients and their families.

In 2001, with funds from the doctors in Mark’s oncology practice (now named Minnesota Oncology), Angel Foundation was born. Margie continues to be actively involved as founder of Angel Foundation, and Mark is an advisor.

For more information about Angel Foundation, call (612) 627-9000.

Coming Up: Angel Foundation Events

Feb. 12: Daylong retreat for families facing cancer

March 3: Education and Support Series begins for families facing cancer

April 24: Kids Kamp fundraising luncheon

May 10: Family day on the horse farm, Otsego

June 12-14: Kids Kamp, Eden Prairie

Aug. 5-6: Urban Adventures Kids Kamp, Minneapolis