Gary Reece, President of Cancer League of Colorado

Gary Reece, President of Cancer League of Colorado

Click Here to Download President’s Message as a .pdf


President’s Message January 2019

I hope that each of you had an enjoyable holiday season and a great start to 2019!

 As we begin this new year, we will remember loved ones we have lost to cancer, while extending our deepest sympathies to their families and friends.  At the same time, we will keep in our thoughts and prayers those individuals close to us who are battling cancer.  Our dedication to protecting the ones we love from this dreaded disease fuels the passion we share for the mission of Cancer League – to find a means to cure or control cancer.

Gratitude for Continued Fundraising Successes

Two of our four major fundraising events for the current fiscal year already are in the books.   While no major fundraisers were held over the last several months, the financial support has continued to come in from many sources.  In this regard, I would like to express, on behalf of all of us, our most sincere appreciation to these donors, as well as everyone else who has contributed their time, talents and/or financial resources to the mission of Cancer League.  Among these donors was the JoAnn B. Ficke Cancer Foundation (Bill and Daniel Ficke and Big Bill’s Pizza) who, just before Christmas, made a $45,000 grant to Cancer League. This generous donation brings total grants made over the last eight years by this organization in support of our mission to $330,000.

Magical Holiday Party     

On November 29th, we held our Holiday Boutique and General Meeting at the beautiful home of Lori and Peter McDermott in Cherry Hills Village.  The holiday atmosphere, combined with the wonderful food donated by two dozen caterers, the wide variety of vendors available for shopping, and the tremendous attendance by so many members and guests, contributed to a delightful and memorable experience for all who attended.  And the giving spirit kindled by this experience brought Cancer League more than $10,000 in proceeds from auctions, vendor sales and outright donations.  We express our sincere thanks to the McDermotts, the event chairs Lori Marks-Connors, Elise Marks-Gruitch, Rosalina Diecidue and Laura Shipman, Marty Gathers and Renee Ambrose and their group of dedicated volunteers, our caterers and vendors, Jay’s Valet for providing the valet services, as well as everyone else involved in making this one of the most successful of Cancer League’s holiday events.

Grants for Service and Clinical Trials in Process

Our Funds Allocation Committee (FAC) will be very active over the next several months accumulating and reviewing service and research grant requests.  Our FAC will be meeting in the near future to review and recommend to our Board the approval of grants to organizations that provide services to cancer patients and/or their families in the state of Colorado.  Research grant requests will be collected and will be reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).  Our FAC will be meeting with the SAB in late April to review the requests and develop recommendations for funding to the Board in May.  You may recall that we funded $750,000 in research grants last year, and we hope to have the funds available to fund research grants of at least that magnitude again this year.

As we communicated to the membership throughout the last several years, our Board has allocated $150,000 per year, beginning with our 2015-2016 fiscal year, to the funding of Phase 1, investigator-initiated clinical trials, subject to review and approval of our FAC.  These clinical trial grants are in addition to the research grant funding discussed above.  I am excited to report that a total of $420,000 allocated for the first three years of these grants has been allocated to seven specific clinical trials and will be fully funded in the near future.  The Board has authorized $150,000 for the current fiscal year as well that will be allocated to clinical trials over the next few months.

We look forward to an exciting year ahead for our organization as we set the stage for our four major fundraisers (see details on our website), including:

The Hope Ball, Hyatt Regency Convention Center – May 11, 2019

Golf Tournament, Colorado Golf Club – June 17, 2019

Race 4 Research, Washington Park   – August 18, 2019

Over the Edge, September 5-7, 2019

For the next several months, we will be concentrating our efforts on making the Hope Ball 2019 and our Golf Tournament the most successful events of their kind in our history as we pursue our goal for this fiscal year of raising $1.250 million to fund grants for cancer research and related patient services.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support!

With Dedication,

Gary Reece

President, Cancer League of Colorado