Getting groovy for a good cause at Bring It!

Written by 
Monica May
David & Sarah Szekeres, Juli Oh, Matt Browne-SBP BringIt!

From the moment guests stepped into the disco-lit room, it was clear Bring It! was not your typical fundraiser. 

Donned in bell bottoms, sequined bodysuits and platformed heels, this year’s guests sampled hors d'oeuvre’s supplied by roller-blading servers and grooved to classics such as “Stayin’ Alive” and “Dancing Queen.” 

The 70’s-themed event, held on May 2, 2019, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, drew a crowd of more than 400 attendees—the largest yet—a testament to the hard work and dedication of co-chairs Juli Oh and Matt Browne, and Sarah and David Szekeres. John Weisbarth, host of Tiny House Nation and San Diego native, emceed the event for the third year in a row.

While fun was had by all, the night’s mission was never far from anyone’s mind: fundraising for our Institute’s work to find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more. 

Co-chair Sarah Szekeres shared her personal story about why research is important to her: “Learning I have the BRCA2 gene mutation, which puts me at a greater risk of breast and ovarian cancer, has been an overwhelming and frightening experience for me and my family. It’s through basic research that we will develop effective medicines or tests that prevent, diagnose or treat disease—and create a future where my daughter, and her children and grandchildren, aren’t afraid of cancer or Alzheimer’s or the many serious diseases our society faces today.”

Guests vied for an opportunity to participate in onstage competitions—a spot so coveted it was raffled to the highest bidder. Top-scoring teams partook in absurdly hilarious games, such as “Hungry Hungry Human,” where guests attempted to collect plastic balls from an inflated pool while wheeled on a dolly; and “Rocky,” where participants furiously boxed and ran in place to reach the most steps on a pedometer. Despite wearing wigs and hats, contestants even braved a bobbing-for-apples style competition involving candy encased in a Jello Mold.

Altogether, Bring It! certainly puts the “fun” in “fundraising needs.” We hope to see you next year—stay tuned for more details about the date and theme of the event.  

We are extremely grateful to the event’s generous sponsors, including Alexandria Realty, Heron Therapeutics, Marleigh and Alan Gleicher, Cooley, Marilena and Greg Lucier, Retrophin, Domain Associates, Robin and Hank Nordhoff, Jeanne Herberger, Ph.D., Moon Valley Nurseries, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Luke and Elizabeth Bonacci, Sarah and David Szekeres, Jonell and Gregory Tibbitts, Court and Julie Turner, Dulcy and Mason Matthies, Josie and Jim Myers, Marie Simmons, Arena Pharmaceuticals, BDO, CBRE, Creative Fusion, Cushman & Wakefield, IDT, Deloittte & Touche, Farrell Family Foundation, iProtean, KPMG, Johnson & Johnson, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Neurocrine Biosciences, Oxford Finance, Pegasus Building Services, UnionBank, Cabrillo Advisors, Square1bank and USI Insurance Services. 

Watch a fun-filled KUSI segment about the event. 

Head to our Facebook page to view event photos; search #BringIt19 to find more content. 


Interested in keeping up with our latest discoveries, upcoming events and more? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Discoveries.