School of Medicine Hits the Jackpot with Special Screening of "21"
Friday, March 28, 2008
Dr. Robert Barish, Edmond Notebaert and Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett tried to beat the odds at the blackjack table.
Here’s a winning combination: a special advance screening of the new Hollywood feature film “21” and a successful fundraiser for the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.
A family connection scored this big win for the School of Medicine -- “21” is the film adaptation of a best-selling book written by Ben Mezrich, son of radiology chairman Dr. Reuben Mezrich. The book, “Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions,” tells the true story of a group of college students who used math, ingenuity and a little guile to break the odds of blackjack.
“When I heard that Ben’s book was going to be made into a movie, I knew wanted to do a screening in Baltimore,” says Dr. Mezrich. “We’re so delighted that we could share this wonderful movie and raise money for important research initiatives in the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.”
More than 200 people, including Dean Albert E. Reece, saw the film at the Charles Theatre the night before the movie opened nationwide. And they got to hear the inside story on the movie from the author himself, who came to Baltimore for the event. Before the screening, Ben Mezrich held a reception with about 90 guests at the Metro Gallery. Many people received autographed copies of “Bringing Down the House,” while others tried their hands at the blackjack tables, playing with complimentary chips. Second-year medical student Kate Daley, who volunteered at the screening, was one of those who had luck on her side, winning a drawing for the movie's poster autographed by the film’s stars, including Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth and Jim Sturgess.
Proceeds from the advance screening, which are still being tallied, will support cutting-edge radiology research and the enhancement of state-of-the-art technologies such as CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
Ben Mezrich is the author of ten books, including the wildly successful Bringing Down the House, which spent fifty-nine weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List and sold over 1.5 million copies in twelve languages. His latest book, Rigged, is also a best-seller and was recently optioned as a film. Mezrich has created his own highly addictive genre of nonfiction, chronicling the amazing stories of young geniuses making tons of money on the edge of impossibility, ethics and morality. He's been named "Sexiest Author" by People Magazine and had a brief stint on Court TV with a series entitled High Stakes with Ben Mezrich. Mezrich also hosted the World Series of Blackjack for the Game Show Network. A columnist for Boston Common and a contributor to Flush Magazine in the UK, Mezrich currently has several scripted and non-scripted TV projects in the works.
Executive Director of Development and Campaign Programs
University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Development
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Is Ben Mezrich teaching wife Tonya some of the tricks he learned while writing his book?