On June 30th, the American Cancer Society will honor Santa Barbara City Fire Department’s Captain Michael dePonce at the 3rd Annual Santa Barbara County Gala, “Stetsons & Stilettos,” at Rancho La Patera & Stow House from 4pm-8pm.
Captain Michael dePonce is a two-time cancer survivor recognized for his community commitment and supporting services of cancer patients. He was diagnosed in 1997 with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of pediatric bone cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 133,955 Californians will be diagnosed with cancer this year and about 54,655 will die from the disease.
Guests will whip out western wear for this year’s outdoor event featuring a fierce firefighter’s rib bbq cook-off between Santa Barbara City and Santa Barbara County firefighters judged by event sponsors at 4 pm. The evening will feature noggin-nodding toe-tapping live entertainment by Caught Red Handed, flavorful food, wondrous wine, and a stunning silent auction to raise funds for the Society’s groundbreaking research, early detection, and free local patient services and programs.
“Firefighters and volunteers for the American Cancer Society have one big thing in common—we are all working to save lives,” Captain dePonce says. “It is every cancer survivor’s responsibility to get involved and make a difference. I believe in the American Cancer Society’s mission and its many support programs. I was a recipient of these services and I’m humbled to be honored.”
As someone who provides aid for others, Captain dePonce knows the power of community support.
“I’ve had incredible support from my buddies at the fire station,” he says. “They pulled my shifts so I could take my chemo. More than 100 firefighters shaved their heads when I was going through treatment.”
The captain’s family is no stranger to cancer: his father fought prostate cancer for ten years under the care of the 2011 Stetsons & Stilettos Honoree, Dr. Fred Kass.
“I would like to honor my father who lost his battle with prostate cancer. We were concurrently undergoing treatment and although he was dealing with his own health issues, he made sure I was taken care of. I’m surrounded by abundant love and support.”
Tickets for the event are available for $150. For ticket or sponsorship information, please contact Sandy Berg at 805-644-4237, x220 or email her at Sandy.Berg@cancer.org.