Joan Hisaoka Gala


The Joan Hisaoka “Make a Difference” Gala is held annually in September. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts has been a fortunate recipient of The Joan Hisaoka Gala for the past ten years. This event raises funds that support organizations that assist those living with cancer.

Our dedicated Board Member Emeritus, Robert Hisaoka, created this event in his sister’s name. Joan Hisaoka attended Smith Center’s Living Well with Cancer Program in 2008 and passed away shortly after. She was so affected by her experience, finding the tools she learned in coping with her cancer so profoundly useful, that she herself wanted to help others. With this wish, Robert created the Gala to carry on her legacy.

We are pleased to announce that the 11th Annual Joan Hisaoka Gala – Assisting those Living with Cancer will be held on September 15, 2018 at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington, DC.

Now in its eleventh year, the gala has raised over $12,000,000 for cancer support services in our area. This black tie event will attract close to 500 philanthropists from the Washington, DC business community and features a four-course dinner, as well as a reception, dancing, and silent and live auctions with exclusive luxurious items.

Over 20,000 people in Washington, DC currently live with cancer. Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is the only independent cancer support organization serving the DC cancer community. As one of two recipients of the evening, Smith Center receives major support for our daily programs that include support groups, stress reduction, nutrition workshops, cancer retreats, individual patient navigation services and other healing resources.

We are honored to be a beneficiary and to continue our life enhancing programs for people with cancer in Joan’s honor.

To learn more about this fabulous annual event, please visit: or contact Casey Bauer, Development Coordinator, at, or call 202.483.8600 to learn how to become a sponsor or to purchase tickets through Smith Center.

2018 Sponsor Information

Thank you for generously supporting Smith Center through this event! 


Highlights from Last Year


Last year’s 10th Annual Joan Hisaoka “Make a Difference” Gala – Assisting those Living with Cancer was another tremendous success! We are grateful to gala founder and Smith Center Board Member Emeritus Bob Hisaoka, our sponsors, and guests for their dedication to our mission. It was a great evening of community, remembrance, and support.

This one evening raised 1.75 million dollars for Smith Center and Life with Cancer. This brings the 10 year total to 12 million dollars.

The support we receive from the gala enables us to continue offering life-changing programs to people impacted by cancer. The money we receive from this event allows us to provide programs such as yoga and stress relief classes, support groups, creativity workshops, healing circles groups for widowers, retreats and much more for people in the DC Community facing cancer.

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Barbara Smith Fund
Annette Polan
Jessica Stafford Davis
John Holmes &
Diane Zipursky Quale
Lucinda and Grenville Emmet
The Feldman Family Foundation
Galerie Myrtis
Brian Dailey – In Memory of Paula Ballo-Dailey
Steven and Rene Bookoff
Brendan Ogg Memorial Fund
Julia Rowland
Salti & Associates, LLC

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