EDISON, NJ - The Edison-based Janice Lopez Ovarian Cancer Foundation (JLOCF) and the Encore Orchestra of NJ presented a benefit concert at Temple Emanu-El on Saturday to raise funds for ovarian cancer research, education and awareness.

The Encore Orchestra of New Jersey, directed by Ilene Greenbaum, presented an "Evening of the Best of Broadway and More."  The 35-piece orchestra and professional vocalists performed songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Aida, Jersey Boys, Evita and many others. Guest singer Felicia Moss Eaton\ also performed with the orchestra. Eaton comes from a long line of family talent, including Whitney Houston and Dionne Warwick.

The Encore Orchestra of NJ, founded in 2011 by Vincent Novellino and Greenbaum, consists of musicians with international, Broadway, opera and symphonic credits as well as newly established professionals from universities and conservatories around the United States. 

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The orchestra evolved from a family tragedy and each year since their first benefit concert at the 10th anniversary of 9/11 for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, they perform at least one benefit concert.

Janice Lopez (affectionately known as ‘JLO’) was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer in December 2005.  According to her husband, Gilbert and three sons, Gilbert C, Charles and Andrew, her diagnosis never stopped her from being with her family, and seven grandchildren. She finally succumbed to the illness on Sept. 9, 2009.

In the Spring of 2006, “TEAM JLO” was formed as an ovarian cancer fundraising team with members running in  the annual Sandy Sprint for the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation.  Eventually members of TEAM JLO felt they could have a greater impact and reach by forming their own 501(c)3 organization and formed the Janice Lopez Ovarian Cancer Foundation in November  2011. The foundation also helps the Give Women a Lift organization which provides transportation to women who need help getting to their doctor and cancer treatment appointments.

“Janice was our mother, wife, sister and daughter.  We loved her with all our hearts and it is through her inspiration that we fight each day,” said the family.

The keynote speaker of the event was Lorna Rodriguez, MD, PhD, Director of Precision Medicine and Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

“We are making great strides in the future of cancer therapy. And it is because of people like you who are here tonight supporting this event that we are able to help and cure cancer today,” said Rodriguez.

Also, on hand, was Vanessa Oriolo, Miss NJ USA.  Oriolo is a senior at Temple University pursuing a business administration degree.