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In the spirit of the late Tom and Jean Yawkey's nearly half-century
of dedication to the fight against cancer, the Yawkey Foundation has
awarded $30 million, the largest gift in its history, to Dana-Farber
Cancer Institute. The gift will help underwrite construction of the
Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, a state-of-the-art outpatient facility
that is proposed to be developed on Brookline Avenue, at the heart of
The Yawkey contribution is the second largest single gift made to Dana-Farber's fundraising campaign, Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer,
which seeks to raise $1 billion to accelerate the pace of cancer
research, promote the translation of scientific advances into new
life-saving therapies, and expand Dana-Farber's ability to provide its
signature patient- and family-centered care.
"We're immensely grateful for the Yawkey Foundation's generous
support for this project, and for Dana-Farber and our mission," said
Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, president of Dana-Farber. "More than 50 years
ago, Tom and Jean Yawkey and our founder Dr. Sidney Farber shared a
vision of one day conquering cancer. The Yawkeys' longstanding support
of Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund has enabled us to move much, much
closer to this goal and has helped save countless lives along the way."
The Yawkey Foundation's gift extends the Yawkeys' unwavering
commitment to the Jimmy Fund, which supports adult and pediatric cancer
care and research at Dana-Farber. "Tom and Jean Yawkey were deeply
committed to supporting the lifesaving work of Dr. Sidney Farber and the
Institute. They gave generously of their resources and personal time in
the hope of one day realizing a world without cancer. The Trustees of
the Yawkey Foundation take great pleasure in commemorating this
longstanding relationship between the Yawkeys and Dana-Farber," said
James Healey, president and trustee of the Yawkey Foundation.
The histories of Dana-Farber and the Yawkey family are inextricably
linked. In 1953, the Yawkeys adopted the Jimmy Fund as the official
charity of the Boston Red Sox, which they owned from 1933-2002. The Red
Sox-Jimmy Fund partnership, which remains strong and fruitful to this
day, has generated millions of dollars in support for cancer care and
research at Dana-Farber and has made contributing to the Jimmy Fund a
New England tradition.
The Yawkeys also were extensively involved in the governance of
Dana-Farber. Tom Yawkey served as a trustee from 1954-76, during which
time he was president of the institution from 1960-69 and chairman of
the Board of Trustees from 1969 until his death in 1976. Jean Yawkey was
a Dana-Farber trustee from 1976 until her 1992 death, and she served as
chair of the Board of Trustees from 1976-79.
The need for the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, which will be the
first new clinical building at Dana-Farber since 1976, is driven by the
rapidly accelerating pace of cancer research, both in the clinics and
the laboratories, and a dramatic increase in the number of patients
cared for by the Institute. Between 2001 and 2005, outpatient visits and
chemotherapy infusions at Dana-Farber grew by more than 43 percent,
from nearly 128,000 to more than 184,000. The number of clinical trials
available to Dana-Farber patients increased 60 percent, from 409 trials
to 658. Dana-Farber officials expect this growth to continue, due in
part to the aging of the U.S. population — cancer disproportionately
strikes people over 60 — and increased survival rates.
As proposed, the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care will house many of
Dana-Farber's adult clinical services, as well as translational research
space and patient and family services. The 275,000 square foot
building, to be constructed near the intersection of Brookline Avenue
and Jimmy Fund Way, will include 100 exam rooms, 150 infusion beds, and a
new, patient-friendly front entrance for Dana-Farber. It also will
consolidate many of Dana-Farber's clinical services into a more open,
accessible space and provide a new, modern entrance into the renowned
institute. The building is expected to be ready for occupancy in early
The new building's location just down the street from Fenway Park,
home of the Boston Red Sox, is fitting. The Yawkeys encouraged Red Sox
players to visit young cancer patients at Dana-Farber starting with the
great Ted Williams. For years, signage promoting the Jimmy Fund has
been prominently displayed in the ballpark, and today a Jimmy Fund
insignia adorns the park's "Green Monster" left-field wall. (For more on
the Red Sox-Jimmy Fund relationship, go to www.jimmyfund.org/redsox/.)
"The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, by bringing together clinical
care and translational research under one roof, truly will embody the
strengths of Dana-Farber and, more importantly, it will enable our
clinicians to provide patients and their families with the finest care
and treatment options available," said Josh Bekenstein, co-chair of the Mission Possible Campaign and a managing director of Bain Capital.
The Yawkey Foundation's gift comes at a critical time, said Larry Lucchino, who is also co-chair of the Mission Possible Campaign and president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox. "We're extremely fortunate
that so many people and organizations already have demonstrated their
support for Dana-Farber, but we have much more work to do. The Yawkey
Foundation's gift is significant both for what it is funding and the
momentum it generates for the overall campaign. And today's Red Sox are,
of course, proud to carry on the Yawkey/Dana-Farber traditions."
"I am honored to have been part of this unprecedented partnership
between the Yawkeys, their foundation and Dana-Farber," said Mike
Andrews, chairman of the Jimmy Fund and a former Red Sox second baseman.
"There is nothing like it anywhere else, and it has been uniquely
productive and effective in the fight against cancer."
The Yawkey Foundations were established more than twenty years ago to
further serve the family's many charitable goals. The mission of the
Yawkey Foundations is to continue the charitable legacy of Tom and Jean
Yawkey by making grants that provide immediate, significant and positive
impact on the quality of life of youth, families and the underserved,
primarily in the areas which the Yawkeys called home, New England and
Georgetown County, South Carolina. For additional information about the
Foundations, visit their website at www.yawkeyfoundations.org.
Founded in 1947 by Sidney Farber, MD, the father of modern chemotherapy, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org)
is a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, a founding
member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, a National Cancer
Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, and a federally
designated Center for AIDS Research.
Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer seeks to provide Dana-Farber scientists with the tools to further
uncover the genetic and molecular roots of cancer, and to turn that
knowledge into ever better therapies for people battling the disease.
The $1 billion campaign will support four critical areas: research and
care; technology; the proposed Yawkey Center for Cancer Care; and the
Jimmy Fund and unrestricted funds, which will support the most pressing
needs and promising developments at Dana-Farber.