Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Papanicolaou Corps For Cancer Research Donates Largest Gift Ever

05.11.2008

The 19,000 member Papanicolaou Corps for Cancer Research today announced its largest, record-breaking gift of $4.15 million to fund cancer research at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, surpassing last year’s donation by $1 million. “We are so pleased to be able to present this gift to UM/Sylvester, especially given the current economy,” said Barbara Pessel, president of the Pap Corps, an all-volunteer fundraising group with members across the tri-county area that has supported cancer research at the University of Miami for 56 years.

Although the economy is slowing down, the Pap Corps membership’s energy and enthusiasm for supporting cancer research has not diminished. The group’s grassroots fundraising efforts are impacting millions – from the scientists and physicians whose work is fueled by their generosity to the South Floridians and others who benefit from the resulting cancer breakthroughs.

Pessel stepped down as president at the annual donor luncheon at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. During her two-year presidency, Pessel’s leadership helped guide the Pap Corps to increase and then reach its six-year, $14 million pledge ahead of schedule. Today’s check not only set a record on its own, but far surpassed the Pap Corps’ original $14 million pledge, making the total six-year gift a generous $18.1 million.

The incoming president is Tutsie Lipkin, who has been the Pap Corps executive vice president and served the Boca West Unit for ten years as executive vice president, fund raising vice president, recording secretary, and liaison to the Pap Corps. “My mission is to continue the phenomenal work that this grassroots organization has been doing for close to 60 years,” she said.

The leadership of the Pap Corps presented a check to UM/Sylvester Director W. Jarrard Goodwin, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Board of Governors Chair Joan Scheiner during the luncheon also attended by Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., F.A.C.C., senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

“There are no words to fully express—and convey our appreciation for—the work that you do for UM/Sylvester,” said Goodwin. “Since 2002, National Cancer Institute funding at UM/Sylvester has grown from $9 million to $14.4 million annually. UM/Sylvester now sees 4,000 new cancer patients yearly, and 1,000 are taking part in clinical trials right here in South Florida.” Goodwin added “More than 200 physicians and scientists deliver world-class cancer care and translate research findings from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside. Each day our faculty, staff, and patients feel the impact of Pap Corps’ dollars at work. We are grateful for your devotion and dedication—and your partnership in our shared mission.”

“The Pap Corps’ energy never ceases to amaze me,” added Scheiner. “A gift of this size from a totally volunteer organization is truly remarkable. We and the entire South Florida community are so fortunate and grateful for their continued support of cancer research.”

The ongoing commitment of the Pap Corps has funded critical cancer research that focuses on tumor growth and progression, tumor metabolic pathways, and early clinical trial development. In addition, the Pap Corps’ funding helps recruit some of the world’s top scientists to support the mission of South Florida’s only university-based cancer center.

The members of the Pap Corps are especially proud of the growth in their membership and philanthropy in today’s economic climate. “When I started in this position there were just over 17,000 members; today we have 19,000 members,” said Pessel. “The Pap Corps is made up of an extraordinary group of men and women; their dedication and commitment to this organization is our most powerful tool for success.”

For more information about the Papanicolaou Corps for Cancer Research please call (954) 425-8100 or visit http://www.papcorps.org.

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