The American Cancer Society in Annapolis is sponsoring a tribute to the late Aris Allen that it hopes will spread the word about early cancer prevention among low-income people in the county.
Guest speaker Marilyn Quayle, Vice President Dan Quayle's wife, has been affected by the disease.
"Breast cancer is an issue for which she gives a great deal of time," said her chief of staff, Marguerite Sullivan, explaining that Marilyn Quayle's mother died of cancer.
At the dinner, which will beheld Jan. 23 at the Annapolis Ramada Inn, the cancer society will announce the formation of a lecture series designed to promote cancer detection and early protection among people who may not see doctors regularly.
"There are pockets of disadvantaged people, and we want to reach them," said Bebe Murray, who works for C. W. Amos & Co., an accounting firm that is one of the event's sponsors.
Five minority doctors and a nutritionist also will give monthly lectures throughoutthe county.
"Disadvantaged people have a very high cancer rate," Murray said. "Most of the people don't have medical insurance. This could lesson the amount that government pays to treat these people."
The dinner, which will raise money for the Annapolis chapter of thecancer society, will honor Allen, who was the General Assembly's only black Republican before taking his own life last year after discovering he had terminal prostate cancer.
Dr. Dennis Hall, a cardiologist who just started practicing in Annapolis last July after completing training at the University of Virginia, said he never met Allen but now finds himself treating many of doctor's former patients.
He said the tribute and lecture series bearing Allen's name will have a positive impact.
"Many of my patients remember Allen as vividly having a positive impact on their lives," Hall said. "People recognize his name and many feel very badly about the way he died. The fact that he had cancer and impact of that very horrible disease on such a prominent person will unite the community into understanding."
The ticket price is $50. All proceeds will go to support programs and activities of the American Cancer Society in the Annapolis community. Formore information, call 721-4304.