by Lisa Lyons
Demonstrating extraordinary generosity, Faith Guild Chapter member and former chapter president Norma Connick left a $2 million bequest that will support the planned Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology, or CITI, research center.
Connick, a Bay Area supporter of City of Hope for several decades, devoted much of her life to furthering the research and treatment goals of the institution through ongoing auxiliary fundraising activities. The signature event of the former Faith Guild Chapter was the annual Champagne Brunch that Connick took great pride in organizing every year.
"She was truly the driving force behind her chapter's fundraising activities," said Joanne Gold, associate vice president, Development, in San Francisco. "Donors like Norma serve as shining examples of the volunteer spirit upon which City of Hope was founded."
As Connick did not designate her bequest for any specific research programs, Gold, Senior Gift Planning Officer Jay O'Neal and senior level Development Group executives discussed several options regarding the funding and decided that her gift would be put to best use as the cornerstone of the CITI research center initiative.
One of the aims of CITI is to accelerate the process by which lab-based discoveries can be delivered to patients as new immune therapies. Researchers working in this area are at the forefront of developing and testing new vaccines that target breast, prostate, lung and gastrointestinal cancers by supercharging the body's immune system to kill solid tumors.
"We highly value the thousands of dedicated chapter members around the country who give their time and energy to fundraise and educate potential donors about City of Hope's mission," said Kathleen Kane, executive vice president, Development and External Affairs. "Mrs. Connick's generous gift is indicative of the commitment of these extraordinary individuals."