The Oregon Community Foundation makes biggest discretionary grant in its history to OHSU’s Knight Cancer Challenge

11/20/13  Portland, Ore.

The board of directors of The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) made the largest discretionary grant in the organization’s 40-year history in support of Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Challenge to raise money for research to combat the disease. The $1 million grant to the OHSU Foundation was announced Tuesday, Nov. 19.

“Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, have challenged Oregonians and the rest of the country to take a bold stand against cancer and the OCF Board boldly answered that challenge,” said Max Williams, president and chief executive officer of OCF. “Many of OCF’s donors have been generous in their individual support of the OHSU Foundation over the years. This grant signals our intention to honor those gifts by increasing their impact.”

The Knight Cancer Challenge is a two-year fundraising campaign to leverage unprecedented resources for cancer research aimed at saving lives by developing better technologies and tests to detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. To do this requires gaining a better understanding of how cancer gains a foothold in the body at a molecular level. If OHSU can raise $500 million for cancer care and research by Dec. 31, 2015, the Knights will contribute an additional $500 million toward research to advance early cancer detection at OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute.

“The Oregon Community Foundation’s board of directors is excited to support and recognize the challenge posed by Phil and Penny Knight in the fight to cure cancer. We are confident that philanthropists not only from Oregon, but from across the country, will rise to the challenge. The results of this effort will dramatically affect cancer research around the world,” Williams said.

OHSU’s vision to make a difference in a decade by developing next-generation cancer detection takes on a huge unmet need and inspired OCF’s support. To make the greatest life-saving impact on cancer in the shortest amount of time, OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute will create earlier and more accurate tests for cancer so that it can be found and treated before it becomes deadly.

“In making their largest discretionary grant ever to the Knight Cancer Challenge and encouraging others to lend their support, OCF has demonstrated leadership and given further momentum to a campaign that has the potential to save lives around the world,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. “OCF’s board members represent all areas in Oregon. Their support signals that Oregonians are ready to take an all-out stand against cancer. We are thankful for their contribution.”

About the Knight Cancer Institute

The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of personalized cancer medicine. The institute's director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down cells that enable cancer to grow without harming healthy cells. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and ushered in a new generation of targeted cancer therapies. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle – an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It offers the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials.

About the Oregon Community Foundation

The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds OCF awards more than $65 million annually in grants and scholarships.

The OHSU Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) organization that exists to secure private philanthropic support for Oregon Health & Science University. The foundation raises funds from individuals, companies, foundations and organizations, and invests and manages gifts in accordance with donors’ wishes.