Karli Stahl was known for her boundless positivity and determination, traits that are being carried on by her friends and family through a new event: A Night Under the Stars. The fundraiser will honor Stahl’s memory and support the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (CCA), the nation's largest and most impactful non-profit dedicated to fighting colorectal cancer.
Stahl was initially diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer in late 2014, which she battled for over eight years. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was quickly changed to stage four as the cancer continued to spread to her lungs and throughout the rest of her body. After years of fighting while remaining committed to living her life to the fullest, Stahl passed away in March of 2022.
Diana Minshall, co-chair of A Night Under the Stars with Chip Stahl, the late Karli Stahl’s husband and high school sweetheart, told the Current: “We started a fund in Karli’s name that will benefit ending colorectal cancer and will create awareness about the disease.”
All proceeds from the event will benefit the Karli M. Stahl Memorial Fund, which advances the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's mission to end colorectal cancer in our lifetime.
Colorectal cancer is projected to be one of the leading killers of people aged 20 to 49 by the year 2030. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is working to spread awareness about the prevalence of the disease and raise funds to fight against it. A Washington D.C.-based organization, CCA has helped to push Congress to change the recommended age for colonoscopies from 50 to 45.
“Their mission is to create awareness, give support to people that are going through this, and to find a cure,” Minshall said. “The thing that I didn't realize about colorectal cancer, and that I don't think anybody does, is that it's preventable - if you know the symptoms and you get checked out early enough.”
Through A Night Under the Stars, the Stahl family hopes to create awareness and start a conversation about colorectal cancer to get people’s attention. Minshall says, “The Stahls and I thought if we can prevent just one family from losing their mom, dad, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter, friend, then we will have done our job.”
A Night Under the Stars will be at the White Elephant on September 16th. Ticket prices are $795 per ticket (or two for $1,500), and sponsorships start at $5,000. To make the event accessible to everyone who wants to come, there are codes for families, local year-rounders, and the under 35 crowd that are more affordable. While Minshall expresses the importance of raising money to support the CCA, she emphasizes that including everybody is a priority. “We wanted to make sure that it was as inclusive as it could be, because it's so important to create awareness and to get the next generation of philanthropists in the door…we're playing a long game,” she told the Current.
Beyond fundraising, Minshall and the Stahl family hope that A Night Under the Stars will be a source of support for families who have lost someone or have been affected by colorectal cancer. For the Stahl family, connecting with the CCA was a major turning point in their grief. Chip Stahl reached out to the CCA about a year after Karli passed and immediately felt heard and supported. “He was surrounded by people that knew what he had gone through,” Minshall elaborated. “It was like being able to have this nice, warm, emotional hug that he really needed.”
The support network provided by the CCA is growing, as many local and visiting families are getting involved with A Night Under the Stars. However, the event is still looking for sponsorships, which will help raise more money for colorectal cancer awareness and help A Night Under the Stars become an annual event.
For Minshall and Chip Stahl, raising awareness and getting people involved in the fight against colorectal cancer is a priority. A Night Under the Stars will include live music provided by The Sultans, a live auction, dinner with wines curated by Alex Gambal, dancing, and fun, all with the goal of raising upwards of $1 million for the cause. Together with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Minshall and the Stahl family hope to provide critical funding to get more people screened, support patients on their treatment journey and fund more life-saving research, and ultimately, honor Karli.
For more information about the event and to get involved or donate, click here.