Kansas Masons are understandably proud as they celebrate their accomplishment of having reached and exceeded their pledge of an additional $2 million to the University of Kansas Cancer Center for cancer research. Not only did they make their goal but reached it months early.
Jeff Sowder, president of the Kansas Masonic Foundation and chair of the campaign, announced to Kansas Masons at their annual meeting in Salina that with the $166,509.68 check presented to Roy Jensen, M.D., Director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center and the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute, their total gifts to the KU Cancer Center in this campaign have reached to more than $2.1 million.
It was in March 2009 that the Kansas Masonic Foundation made a pledge of $2,011,000 thus the name Campaign 2011, to help KU in the fight against cancer. The University of Kansas Medical Center recognized the Mason’s generosity by naming the research wing of their cancer center the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute. With the completion of this pledge, the Foundation’s total support for cancer research at KU, which started in 1975, is more than $22.1 million.
“The Masons of Kansas have made a great impact on the KU Cancer Center”, said KMF President Jeff Sowder. “We are extremely proud of the success of our Campaign 2011. Kansas Masons and friends have been generous in their giving. I am telling the Masons today at the Grand Lodge Session that this campaign goal has been reached, but our partnership with the KU Cancer Center is lifelong, and we will continue our efforts until there is a cure for this dreaded disease. We must keep the gifts coming!”
The ultimate goal is to assist the KU Cancer Center in achieving National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation – a designation that will not only benefit Kansas residents but patients across the central Midwest region. They are making application on September 25, 2011. This had been the deadline for the completion of Campaign 2011.
“The funds raised by Kansas Masons will help advance cancer awareness and research throughout the region”, said Dr. Jensen. “The Institute seeks to bring to the University of Kansas Cancer Center new cancer research programs, new resources for determining and providing more effective treatments, and greater opportunities to collaborate with the finest researchers around the world to conquer all forms of cancer.” Dr. Jensen is a Kansas Mason.
The Kansas Masonic Foundation was established in 1966 to expand Masonic philanthropy in the fields of charitable, educational and scientific programs. They chose the fight against cancer as their top priority because of the destructive toll that it takes on individuals, families and society as a whole. There are nearly 23,000 Masons who represent 243 Masonic Lodges in Kansas. Those seeking more information can visit the Kansas Masonic Foundation Web site at kmfonline.org or call (785) 357-7646.