Celebration of Champions Raises Money for Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute

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Funds will help support patients, research and clinical trials

Lehigh Valley, Pa. (May 26, 2023) – Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) held its fourth annual Celebration of Champions on Saturday, May 20 at the Renaissance Hotel in Allentown. Benefiting Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, the event honors cancer survivors, caregivers and community members.

Together, the evening’s 37 sponsors and nearly 250 guests raised almost $300,000 for the Cancer Institute. Proceeds will help advance cancer research and treatment, expand access to clinical trials and provide patient assistance funds. Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, LVHN President and Chief Executive Officer, thanked everyone for their support, giving special recognition to Haldeman Lincoln as the title sponsor and Joe and Maureen Topper as the honorary chairs.

Suresh Nair, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, spoke to the important role of philanthropy. “Your generosity enables us to recruit and retain the best and brightest colleagues, and bring the latest technology and treatment options to local patients.” Dr. Nair also shared highlights from several clinical trials at LVHN that are yielding amazing results, from pancreatic cancer to melanoma.

During the awards ceremony, Paul Haldeman was honored as this year’s Community Impact Champion; Amy Eagle Thompson was recognized as the Survivor Champion; and Stella Polit, RN, OCN, was the 2023 Caregiver Champion. In the printed program, more cancer survivors were celebrated, sharing their stories of courage and hope.

Upon accepting his award, Community Impact Champion and Title Sponsor Paul Haldeman made an announcement that doubled the event’s philanthropic impact. He and his wife, Michele, were committing $250,000 to the melanoma cancer program at Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute. Their gift will support patient education and treatment and research around melanoma, while also increasing access to immunotherapy clinical trials and personalized vaccine trials.

Concluding the night’s program, Dr. Nair recognized all cancer survivors in the room and members of the Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute clinical team.

Other top sponsors included:

Survivor Story Reception Sponsor


Champion Honoree Sponsors

B. Braun Medical Inc.

Bracy Construction Inc.


Lutron Electronics

North Star Construction Management Inc.

Peron Development

Innovation Sponsors

Allentown Radiation Oncology Associates


Mr. Steven and Mrs. Colette Kresge

Suresh and Terri Nair

The following photos and suggested captions are available for download here:

  • Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Ranju Gupta, MD, President-Elect, LVHN medical staff; hematology/oncology, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, Suresh Nair, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute
  • Amy Eagle Thompson, Survivor Champion, and Suresh Nair, MD, Physician in Chief, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute
  • Stella Polit, RN, OCN, Caregiver Champion, inpatient cancer nurse, Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute
  • Paul Haldeman, Community Impact Champion, Title Sponsor and cancer survivor

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) includes 13 hospital campuses, four in Allentown, two in Bethlehem, one in Easton, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton, two in Pottsville, one in Dickson City, and one in Lehighton, Pa.; 28 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE locations including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer InstituteLehigh Valley Heart and Vascular InstituteLehigh Valley Institute for Surgical ExcellenceLehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute and Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute physicians provide the most advanced treatments. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance (MSK Cancer Alliance), an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the community’s only children’s hospital, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest is ranked as the region’s No. 1 hospital for nine straight years and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top 10 hospitals for nine consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, LVH–17th Street and LVH–Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org or following us on Facebook TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.


Information provided to TVL by:
Jamie L. Stover
Media Relations Specialist
Marketing & Public Affairs
Lehigh Valley Health Network
Allentown, PA 18105