Pete Lopiccola Memorial Foundation Makes $120,000 Gift to UCSD Cancer Center

  l-r:  Key Lopiccola representatives with UCSD fellows - Chuck Faith, Board Chairman; Paolo Vigneri; Yixue Cao; Semi Kim; Isan Chen; John Nonzeta, Year 2000 President & 1999 Tournament Director; Terri Brodeau, Vice President; Lindsey Cerney, 1999 President.

The Pete Lopiccola Memorial Foundation has just given $120,000 to fund cancer treatment and research at the UCSD Cancer Center.  The non-profit organization's gifts to UCSD Cancer Center over the past decade total nearly $750,000.

The money comes from the proceeds of the annual Captain Pete Lopiccola “For Pete’s Sake” Memorial Marlin Tournament, which is held in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Pete Lopiccola was a boat captain and avid fisherman who lost his life to leukemia in 1988. The tournament, which has become the largest charity marlin tournament on the West Coast, was founded to honor his memory and raise money to support cancer research.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of the 1999 tournament and hope to continue to raise donations to higher levels,” said Chuck Faith, board chairman of the Lopiccola Foundation.

This year’s check was presented on April 14 at a reception at UCSD Thornton Hospital. Guests heard brief presentations by four UCSD Cancer Center research fellows whose projects were funded by the Lopiccola Foundation. Yixue Cao, M.D., Ph.D., Isan Chen, M.D., Semi Kim, Ph.D., and Paolo Vigneri, M.D., Ph.D., gave overviews of their research fellowship projects, and expressed their gratitude to the Lopiccola Foundation whose generosity made their studies possible.

David Tarin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the UCSD Cancer Center, who accepted the check on the Center’s behalf, acknowledged the Lopiccola Foundation’s support with an engraved plaque.

Bill Comer, Ph.D., president of the UCSD Cancer Center Foundation, said, “The presentation of this gift is exciting not only for the monetary donation but for the opportunity it gives to Lopiccola Foundation supporters to directly interact with the individual researchers whose critical work they sponsor. ‘From lab bench to bedside’ is the concept behind this project, and supporters can readily see the relationship between finding what causes cancer and doing something about it. In addition to the research money, other Lopiccola funds benefit many children from the Cabo San Lucas area needing medical care.”

The 2000 tournament will be held November 2 to 4. For further information about the event, contact Terri Brodeau at (619) 475-4636 or via email at, or visit the event Web site at

The UCSD Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Clinical Cancer Center. As such, it is considered one of the nation’s premier centers for both basic and clinical research, and for the most advanced conventional and investigational treatments for cancer patients.

Media Contact: Nancy Stringer  619/543-6163   

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