Record Breaking Crowd Fills the Chase Center for Cancer Research

2020 LRFDE Black Tie Gala takes an emotional turn

The Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware Black Tie Committee thought they had maxed out the ballroom of the chase center during their 2019 event. However, as sponsorships for the 2020 LRFDE Black Tie Gala piled in, they knew they were planning for a record-breaking year. During months of preparation, Executive Director Denni Ferrara switched the layout of the ballroom to accommodate an astonishing 600 plus guests at the 2020 LRFDE Black Tie held on Friday, February 14. 

“A Night Under the Big Top”, proudly presented by Apex Piping Systems, drew not only an outstanding number of guests, it generated the largest amount of funding for blood cancer research the event had ever seen in its thirteen-year history. 

As executives and guests from some of the most prominent businesses in the tri-state area funneled in, they were met with full size carnival games, a custom made vintage ticket booth, massive 36inch balloons hung from the ceiling, and an array of other vintage themed decor courtesy of honorary lifetime sponsor Cassidy Painting, Inc. With almost 300 silent auction items ranging from an all-inclusive trip to Disney Resorts, to a small wine package, guests enjoyed appetizers, cocktails, and networking while browsing items. 

Upon entry into the ballroom, the program began with a prayer from Rev. Samuel Lathem, longtime friend of the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware. As guests joined hands, Rev. Lathem’s prayer was tailored to holding hope for one of the foundations members who serves on the Board of Directors, Donald Yanick, who had just completed his fourth stem cell transplant in Little Rock, Arkansas. Although guests were unaware, the black-tie gala committee planned to show a video featuring Mr. Yanick that was filmed the day prior to his departure for treatment. But what happened next was far more memorable than anything that could be captured through film…

Unbeknownst to Rev. Lathem, the guests, and Mr. Yanick’s three children who were seated in the audience, Mr. Yanick and his wife Karen stood behind the stage during the prayer. Donald and Karen arrived at the Chase Center only a few moments prior to the start of the program (after flying home from Little Rock that afternoon) and were brought in through a back entrance to not only to surprise the room but to protect Dons suppressed immune system. Mr. Yanick has never missed the annual LRFDE Gala since its inaugural event in 2007. 

LRFDE Black Tie Gala
Pictured Above: Donald and Karen Yanick stand behind the stage listening to Rev. Samuel Lathem speak.

As Mr. Yanick and his wife remained behind stage, Mrs. Denni Ferrara spoke of the emotional toll a cancer diagnosis brings to a family by speaking candidly about her experiences during her daughter’s treatment in 1998. Mrs. Ferrara also reiterated the importance of community and of research. Then, in an emotional entry that was followed by a standing ovation, a weak bodied but strong spirited Don Yanick came to the stage. Don spoke about his gratitude for community, prayer, and for the research being done within the field of oncology. The Yanick’s children then met them on stage in what was an emotional public reunion of a family that hadn’t been together in over a month. The 600 plus cloth napkins at each place setting were used by guests to wipe away tears before they were ever used for their three-course meal.

The evening continued with dinner, signature drinks, dancing, and a live auction. The top sponsors were also recognized for their ongoing dedication to blood cancer research. These top sponsors included Presenting Sponsor Apex Piping Systems, Honorary Lifetime Sponsor Cassidy Painting Inc., Platinum Sponsors, Schagrin Gas Company, SB Real Estate, Diamond State Recycling Corporation, Cirillo Brothers Inc., Greggo and Ferrara Inc., and Frightland. As well as Gold Sponsors, Advanced Pavement Group, Ferris Home Improvements, Foley CAT, Keen Compressed Gas Company, Martin Marietta, Platinum Dining Group, and WSFS Bank. 

The Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware’s Black-Tie Gala is the foundations signature event, held in February of every year. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to cutting-edge cancer research which continues to have a national and global impact on the field of oncology as well as a personal impact for people like Mr. Yanick. 

For more information on the LRFDE and their signature events, please click the Events tab on the homepage of

Sponsor Spotlight: 2020 Black Tie Gala Presenting Sponsor… APEX Piping!

With an abundance of gratitude, it is our honor to announce APEX Piping Systems as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 LRFDE Premier Black Tie Gala! We’re humbled by the commitment of APEX Piping to continue to fund cutting-edge research for blood cancer!

Sponsor Spotlight: APEX Mechanical & Fabrication 

APEX Mechanical & Fabrication (APEX) partnered with the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware (LRFDE) last year to help change the lives of those effected by cancer. This year, APEX is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the LRFDE Premier Black-Tie Gala at the Chase Center on the Riverfront!

How they got involved: A close friend of APEX, Mike Cassidy, has been a continuous sponsor of the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware since it’s founding. Upon learning more about the organization from Mike and having the privilege to hear from the founder of LRDFE, Denni Ferrara, about how the organization was established following her family’s experience with Leukemia, the APEX team unanimously decided to get involved. It was the way in which the LRFDE uses it’s funding – with 100% of every dollar going to research that can make a real difference was important to APEX and is ultimately what moved the company to become a major supporter. 

The APEX Culture

APEX is on a mission to provide excellent work for their clients and rewarding careers for their team members through the passion they have for their craft. At APEX, the work isn’t about crafting values, it’s about living them. The Company’s three values are safety, quality, and service. The team is dedicated to safety—its engrained, enforced, and drives every action they take. They’re focused on quality by getting it right the first time and meeting or exceeding expectations. And, they’re passionate about service—they love helping their clients and one another succeed by providing exceptional service in all they do. 

These values transcend the company, extending to the community and to the families of their dedicated employees. These values have been instrumental to APEX’s success and are a big reason why the Company is a great place to work; it was even honored as a Delaware Top Workplace in 2019.  

The APEX History 

The Company began in 1965 as Galaxie Manufacturing which was founded in Delaware by a former DuPont Company engineer manufacturing pipe fittings and spools using newly developed fabrication techniques and materials. Galaxie was acquired by SL Industries in the 1970’s and moved operations into the Newport Industrial Complex where they expanded the manufacturing operations into a full service pipe, pressure vessel and metal fabrication shop and operated there continuously until February 1996.

On February 16th 1996 the current ownership of APEX concluded a management buyout of the SL Piping Systems and on the very next day rehired all of the employees and continued operations at the same location.   APEX has continued to operate as a significant shop pre-fabricator of piping systems for the chemical and fluid processing industries utilizing its unique Close Radius Pipe Bending, forming equipment and techniques.  In 1997, APEX formed a mechanical services group to provide comprehensive industrial field services and installations and to provide local clients the benefits of shop fabrication. In 2005, APEX established an industrial Boiler Service Division performing new boiler installations, routine service, complete re-tubes and rebuilds for clients in the Mid-Atlantic Region.  In 2015, APEX purchased NBarton Associates Sheet Metal & HVAC.  Today, APEX is licensed in 18 states and operates as a full service Mechanical Contractor and Premier Fabricator offering welding, pipefitting, rigging, millwright, boiler, sheet metal, plumbing and HVAC services and fabrication to Industrial, Institutional and Commercial Clients throughout the US and primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The APEX Capabilities 

For more than 50 years APEX has been leading the way as the preferred supplier of mechanical services and shop fabrication in the region, recognized for excellent quality, safety, and service. APEX provides a unique mix of mechanical and fabrication capabilities that include utilizing our world-class fabrication shops, automated machinery for pipe bending, metal forming, welding, and assembly. APEX client list includes many of the fortune 500 and other iconic companies and institutions including DuPont, DOW, FMC, CRODA, MERK, W.L. Gore and the University of DE.

For more information about APEX, visit 

Sponsor Spotlight: Cassidy Painting & our 35+ Corporate Partners!

Eleven years of dirt, mud, grit, and glory all benefitting blood cancer research! One thing is for sure.. you can’t mention grit without highlighting Cassidy Painting and Graphics – a Presenting Sponsor of the Delaware Mud Run and Delaware Mud Run Jr. for another consecutive year (eleven to be exact!). Cassidy Painting and Graphics has set the precedence for other corporations on what it means to give back to their community, and contribute to the betterment of not just cancer treatment, but the world around them.

For over 25 years, Cassidy Painting has provided the East Coast with unmatched quality and customer service within our industry. From high profile commercial buildings to large industrial complexes, their customers come to them when they need reliable, experienced professionals and innovative solutions to meet their individual project needs.Located in Newport, DE, Cassidy Painting has served thousands of businesses throughout the mid-Atlantic region and along the entire East Coast. Their services include but are not limited to, commercial painting, industrial coatings, fireproofing, sandblasting services, and fleet/automotive refinishing. For more information on Cassidy Painting and Graphics please click here to visit their website.

Cassidy Painting is joined by Apex Piping Systems, Inc. as the Presenting Sponsors for the 2019 Delaware Mud Run. In addition to these two corporations, other top sponsors for the 2019 Delaware Mud Run include Schagrin Gas, The Reybold Group, Frightland, Artesian Water, Nemours, Jamestown Painting, Cirillo Bros., Diamond State Recycling Corp., and Anzilotti Orthodontics. We would also like to extend special thanks to the Middletown Volunteer Hose Company, DelDot, and Delaware State Police.

For a full list of our sponsors of Delaware Mud Run 2019, please see the logos below. The Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware can’t wait to see you June 6th and June 8th as we get #muddy4acure!

Cancer plays dirty, but so do we.




APEX Piping Systems joins Cassidy in the fight against cancer

APEX Piping Systems is recognized as the leader in process pipe and specialty metal fabrications, including ASME Code work. They are also now a leader in the fight against blood cancer.

The LRFDE is honored to welcome Apex Piping Systems, Inc. as a sponsor of the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware and the 2019 Delaware Mud Run! Apex Piping Systems, Inc. joins Cassidy Painting and Graphics as a Presenting Sponsor for this years muddy event! The generosity of Apex Piping Systems, Inc. goes far beyond their unbelievable monetary donation of $25,000 – they are committed to helping fund cutting-edge blood cancer research, and to help the LRFDE make 2019 Delaware Mud Run two days of fun for mudders in the tristate area!

Apex Piping Systems serves the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, pulp and paper, power, and marine industries. They are a “World Class” fabricator offering a superior product line including Jacketed Piping Systems, Pipe Coils, Skid Mounted Modular Process Systems, and ASME Code Pressure Vessels. In addition, they provide experienced mechanical, boiler maintenance and repair services.

With over 50 years experience in the industry, APEX Piping Systems also takes great pride in its people. Their skills have been developed in Engineering, Pipe Fitting & Welding, Forming Operations, and Quality Control that are unsurpassed in the industry. They are able to perform precision welding of a variety of piping materials, including the high alloys such as Stainless Steel, Titanium, Hastelloy, Zirconium, Aluminum, and all of the Nickel Alloys. The Company is also proficient in bending and flaring these same alloy materials.

For more information on Apex Piping Systems, Inc. please visit them online at

Ready to get #muddy4acure?! Register NOW to join us in funding cutting-edge blood cancer research. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Registration for both Delaware Mud Run and Delaware Mud Run JR closes May 31st, 2019 at midnight!

Nemours Researchers find rare immune deficiency and leukemia pre-disposition mutation in research LRFDE helped to fund

In a manuscript published April 24th, 2019 Nemours Researchers Erin L. Crowgey, Michael C. Washburn, E. Anders Kolb and Eric G. Puffenberger, displayed their breakthrough findings.

Using advanced genomic testing for carrier and newborn screening in the Delaware and PA Amish/Mennonite communities they identified a rare, not previously described, immune deficiency and leukemia pre-disposition mutation in a Delaware Amish baby. She has since received a transplant, and now has no leukemia risk and a normal immune system. There are some rare diseases seen in these communities that researchers and doctors can now pick up at birth to prevent life-threatening and life-altering side effects. 

The Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware was sited in the acknowledgements as helping to fund this ground breaking research. As always, it is our honor to help fund the research of such brilliant, dedicated scientists like those at Nemours.


“We thank Drs. Kevin Strauss, Michael Fox, and Matthew Demczko for manuscript editing and scientific discussions; the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware and the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders for funding this work; and the Nemours Biomedical Research Department for supporting E.L.C.”

To read the manuscript please click here.

ABCares Delaware

For NINE YEARS ABCares Delaware has supported the ongoing efforts of the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware by getting #muddy4acure at the Delaware Mud Run and…. they’re back at it again for 2019!!

ABCares Delaware is the service committee of ABC Delaware. The mission of ABCares is to have ABC members make a difference in their community by giving their time and effort to have a positive impact on the quality of life in the First State.

There is no doubt that they are achieving their mission, especially for those effected by cancer. Teams from ABCares Delaware have won our top prizes for their fundraising efforts and have consistently won over our hearts with their creative mudding attire. From all of the LRFDE volunteers, we would like to publicly thank ABCares Delaware for their unwavering support, dedication, and genuine passion for helping us move towards a cancer free world.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association that advances and defends the principles of the merit shop in the construction industry and provides its members with an opportunity to succeed. The Delaware Chapter of ABC is located in the Airport Industrial Park near the intersection of Route 13 & 273 in New Castle. For more information on ABC Delaware please visit their website at

Recap: Premier Black Tie Gala a Smashing Success

Foles encourages continued fundraising efforts, recognizes local hero

The Chase Center on the Riverfront was sold out on Friday February 15th as over 500 guests attended the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware’s 12thAnnual Black Tie Gala. The one hundred percent volunteer driven nonprofit credited it’s record breaking attendance to the dedication of its volunteers and to the continued sponsorship from some of the largest businesses in the Tri-State area. 

With 150 auction items, ranging from small gift baskets to courtside tickets for a 76ers game, guests enjoyed cocktails, bidding, and the comradery of being a part of a very prominent guest list. Cocktails were followed by a formal dinner and short program during which time Executive Director Denni Ferrara candidly spoke about her experience with cancer and of the many milestones the foundation had reached in the past few years. The LRFDE is currently fulfilling their second one-million-dollar grant to Nemours A.I DuPont Hospital, and was honored to have Patient Unit 3 East of the Hospital named in their honor last December. Ferrara also acknowledged the ongoing support of Cassidy Painting, the Presenting Sponsor for past 12 years. More specifically, the Cassidy Family was thanked for going above and beyond during the 2018 Gala that ended in a loss of power from a severe winter storm. 

Utilizing a play on words, Ferrara and the 2019 Gala Committee asked guests to continue to “be the light” in the lives of those affected by cancer. In the eyes of one guest in particular, the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware fulfilled that role. Julia Wise, a 24-year-old Delaware native who is courageously living with stage IV metastatic cancer, joined Ferrara on stage to receive a gift of a lifetime. In a recorded message, Super bowl Champion Nick Foles acknowledged the work of the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware and encouraged guests to continue with their efforts. Foles then spoke directly to Wise, stating he was humbled by her courage and fight. Wise, in disbelief, was presented with a custom jersey with Foles number and a loud applause from guests. 

The Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware raised an astonishing $300,000 from the five-hour event. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the 12thAnnual Premier Black Tie Gala go directly to fund cutting-edge blood cancer research. As a volunteer driven organization, the LRFDE prides itself on having no administrative fees and has continued to be an advocate for transparency in the non-profit community. 

Highlights of 2019

Sponsor Spotlight: An inside look at tomorrow evenings Presenting Sponsor, Cassidy Painting

For the past twelve years, (yes – you read that correctly – TWELVE years) Cassidy Painting has proudly been the Presenting Sponsor of the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware’s Premier Black Tie Gala.

What began as a friendship with the foundations Executive Director and her family, has now become an unbreakable bond that is the epitome of love, dedication, and teamwork. Months prior to tomorrow nights 12th Annual Black Tie Gala, the Cassidy Family and their renowned painting and graphics companies, began their planning. Signs, banners, decor, and an astonishing $25,000 sponsorship level has continued to make the Cassidy Family’s dedication to funding cutting-edge blood cancer research nothing short of unbelievable.

For over 25 years, Cassidy Painting has provided the East Coast with unmatched quality and customer service within their industry. From high profile commercial buildings to large industrial complexes, customers go to Cassidy Painting when they need reliable, experienced professionals and innovative solutions to meet their individual project needs.

Located in Newport, DE, Cassidy Painting has served thousands of businesses throughout the mid-Atlantic region and along the entire East Coast. Their services include but are not limited to, commercial painting, industrial coatings, fireproofing, sandblasting services, and fleet/automotive refinishing.

In addition to supporting the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware and managing their businesses, the Cassidy and Horney families welcomed their own little additions a few months ago. Luke and Beau Horney are proudly the newest members of the Black Tie Gala Committee!

For more information on Cassidy Painting and Graphics, please visit their website at

Sponsor Spotlight: Reybold Group Donates 15K to Leukemia Research

We at the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware are proud to honor the Reybold Group for their continuous support of the LRFDE and for being a trusted partner with many organizations in the communities which they serve. Most recently, the Reybold Group generously donated an outstanding $15,000 to the LRFDE to aid in our mission of providing continuous funding to cutting-edge blood cancer research!!

In addition to their generous donation, the Reybold Group also designed and published a billboard promoting the foundation –  their powerful message in support of the LRFDE sits on RT.273 in Newark. 

It is an honor and a privilege to have the sponsorship of the Reybold Group, a leading provider in commercial and residential development. They, without a doubt, uphold the important value of giving back to their community and it is obvious that they share the same hopeful vision for the future that we do: a world without cancer. For that, we are forever grateful. 

Pictured Above: The billboard proof designed and donated by the Reybold Group – located on RT. 273 in Newark.

The Reybold Group is a multi-faceted and integrated company with 50 years’ real estate experience. Their ultimate vision is to continuously improve the quality of life (live, work, play) in the region. To achieve their goal, Reybold has invested in and developed several business units including:

> Construction
> Residential Leasing
> New Residential Sales
> Commercial Leasing
> Construction Technologies

Each division’s management objectives highlight safety and a commitment to excellence. Accordingly, they carefully design each project surpassing existing code and Green standards; vet and select local merchants who supply the best materials and qualified labor, providing cost savings in the processes that they share with their customers; develop relationships with their customers assuring satisfaction and excellence in the customer experience; invest in the region’s good works improving the quality of living and working throughout New Castle County; and furnish and support vital jobs that support the local economy.

For more information on the Reybold Group please click here.


Cassidy Painting & Schagrin Gas vow to get #muddy4acure!

Our dedicated sponsor since the founding of LRFDE, Cassidy Painting, has graciously donated $25,000 to support the 2018 Delaware Mud Run! Cassidy Painting’s donation renders them our Presenting Sponsor for this years event. Their sponsorship aids in supporting our 10th Anniversary Mud Run which will be held Saturday, June 9th, 2018.  

The Cassidy Family and their businesses have supported the Delaware Mud Run for the past 10 years with a Presenting Sponsorship donation EVERY YEAR since the Delaware Mud Run premiered in 2008. Not only are their dollars crucial in funding cancer research and hosting a muddy event, their dedication and selfless contributions to Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware far exceed monetary value. You can find Lisa, Mike, and their children volunteering before and after the event so that so that participants can get #muddy4acure! 

For over 25 years, Cassidy Painting has provided the East Coast with unmatched quality and customer service within their industry. From high profile commercial buildings to large industrial complexes, their customers come to them when they need reliable, experienced professionals and innovative solutions to meet their individual project needs. Their services include but are not limited to, commercial painting, industrial coatings, fireproofing, sandblasting services, and fleet/automotive refinishing. 

For more information about Cassidy Painting, please visit their website 

We are also ecstatic to announce that Schagrin Gas is a proud Muddy Sponsor of the Delaware Mud Run! Their donation of $10,000 dollars aids in supporting our 10th Anniversary Mud Run and is another crucial part of funding blood cancer research. Schagrin Gas also donated these custom, colorful, totally awesome, Delaware Mud Run coozies perfect for a cold beverage on a hot June day! 

Schagrin Gas is a family owned and operated business who serves as a leading provider in creating comfortable homes with customized comprehensive services and top-of-the-line equipment. Their products and services include: HVAC, service plans, grills, water conditioning systems, room zone heaters, pool heaters, gas hot water heaters, standby power generators, and fireplaces. 

For more information about Schagrin Gas, please visit their website

***Sponsorship opportunities for our 2018 Delaware Mud Run are still available. For more information about sponsorship please visit us at and click on “sponsor”.