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Living Legend Planners Prepare for Lance Armstrong-Paula Zahn Interview

Living Legend Planners Prepare for Lance Armstrong-Paula Zahn Interview
More than Half Tickets Sold Before Invitations Released
M. D. Anderson News Release 11/14/02
A Conversation with a Living Legend always has had a bold Dallas signature, but for this year’s annual fundraiser for The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, that thumbprint is enhanced by two guests of honor who hail from the area and record-setting advance ticket sales.

Even before invitations hit the mail, more than half the tables are sold to the December 9 event that features four-time Tour de France winner, three-time Olympian and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong telling his story to CNN anchor Paula Zahn.  The event, now in its 13th year, will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel.
Armstrong, a former Plano resident, is the first American to win the Tour de France four times, and the first cancer survivor to take cycling’s most coveted victory. He will tell his stories of triumph over world-class cyclists as well as advanced testicular cancer to Zahn, who began her broadcasting career at WFAA-TV in Dallas in 1978. 
Diagnosed in 1996 with testicular cancer that spread to his brain and lungs, Armstrong resumed riding and training only five months after his diagnosis. Completing his treatment in May 1998, he officially returned to cycling, participating in the Ride for the Roses, a ride benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The ride became an annual fundraising event for his foundation, which he created to enhance patients’ quality of life during and after treatment and provide funding for cancer survivorship education, programs and research. Just 14 months after completing his treatment, Armstrong won the 1999 Tour de France.
Armstrong will be interviewed in front of a crowd of about 1,500 people by Zahn, a CNN anchor and 23-year news veteran.  She has spent part of her career working in Dallas and Houston, and co-hosted Winter Olympic Games in Albertville and Lillehammer.  She joined CNN in September 2001 and is currently the anchor for “American Morning with Paula Zahn.” A long-time supporter for cancer education, Zahn received the Second Annual Cancer Awareness Award by the Congressional Families Action for Cancer Awareness and a citation from New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center for her contributions to the battle against breast cancer.

Armstrong’s cycling feats will be celebrated with one of the event’s most anticipated features:  an elaborate dessert.  This year, Wyndham Anatole’s executive chef Henri Mahler will incorporate chocolate Eiffel Towers into dessert, which will adorn the tables, surrounded by red carnations, the national flower of France, and the flags of Texas and France.
The set for the event is a backdrop of a mountain adorned with bicycles, pine trees and a bright yellow leader’s jersey. Gale Sliger of Gale Sliger Productions, a longtime Living Legend committee member, designed the backdrop.  A signed replica of the leader’s jersey, accompanied by a photo of Lance, will be auctioned off at the event by Dallas County Treasurer Bill Melton, also a longtime organizer and Living Legend committee member.

Jody Grant, chairman of Living Legend, and committee members have secured more than $500,000 in table sales to date.  ExxonMobil and Texas Capital Bank are corporate underwriters, each contributing $20,000 to the event.
“The early enthusiasm that the Dallas area has shown for this year’s event is as phenomenal as our guest of honor’s story,” said Grant.  “Lance’s story is so inspiring that it is impossible to not be moved and motivated to get involved and be a part of the M. D. Anderson mission to eliminate cancer.”
Proceeds from this year’s Living Legend event will benefit M. D. Anderson’s testicular cancer research program and Project S.A.F.E.T.Y., a national program on skin cancer prevention and education that M. D. Anderson presents to elementary and middle schools.
Since 1990, Living Legend has raised more than $3.6 million for cancer research initiatives and patient programs at M. D. Anderson.
For event information, please call 1-800-525-5841.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center