A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Profile - Bobbie Stern of Washington state Bookmark and Share

Centennial Convention Profile: Bobbie Stern of Washington state

With the Centennial Convention celebrating City of Hope's volunteer fund-raisers, we take this opportunity to highlight a few...
 
By Roberta Nichols
 
Bobbie Meltzer Stern’s family has supported City of Hope for five generations – beginning in 1928 when her grandparents, Abe and Razel Rosenfeld, helped found the Portland Builders of Health chapter in Oregon.

Bobbie Stern
A member of City of Hope’s Board of Regents, Stern remembers hearing about the moment the philanthropic torch was first passed to a new generation in her family: her mother, Fern Rosenfeld Meltzer.  In 1950, the Rosenfelds and daughter Fern attended a fundraiser for City of Hope in Murietta Hot Springs, Calif.  After writing a check to City of Hope, Rosenfeld turned to his daughter and said, “OK, now, it’s your turn.”  

“He verbally turned over the reins of leadership to my mother, who proudly accepted the challenge,” Stern said. In 1951, Meltzer founded the Seattle Cancer Guild, which became the Seattle Chapter of City of Hope. 

The chapters were instrumental to the growth of City of Hope, particularly in the early days, Stern said. “There were over 570 active chapters throughout the country when I started,” she said. “It was a huge support network fondly called The People’s Movement – and it was.  Volunteers nationwide raised thousands of dollars and donated hundreds of hours of valuable time.”
 
As a child, Stern remembered the contagious enthusiasm of those coming to her home to talk about raising money for a hospital she had never seen and a place she had never heard of – City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. “They were raising money to maintain compassionate, free patient care, always believing: ‘If you’re sick, I should help you; if I’m sick, you should help me.’”

When she was only 9 years old, Stern began taking donation canisters to downtown Seattle, urging strangers to contribute to City of Hope. In high school, she began Donnez Nous, a guild of the Seattle chapter. “We were just kids. We didn’t know how to raise money.” 
 
Yet the “DNs” were deeply motivated – and highly resourceful. One of their first fundraisers involved holding a dessert and fashion show in one of their homes, where they made their own desserts, modeled their own clothes and charged each other for admission. 

After college, Stern founded, and became the first president of, the Donnez Nous chapter in 1963, which was made up mostly of young couples from Bellevue and Mercer Island whose parents were actively involved in the Seattle Chapter. 
 
“We went gangbusters!” recalled Stern. After inviting their friends to join, she and the other members  soon began outdoing one another with creative fundraising ideas – including fur and lingerie fashion shows, casino nights, kids’ fashion shows, carnivals, athletic events with local celebrities, “no-party parties,” singing telegrams, and cookbooks replete with ads to cover the costs. 

The concept of appreciating both large – and small – donations  was championed by  former City of Hope Chief Executive Officer  Ben Horowitz. “’You need the few dollars from the many, as well as the many dollars from the few,’ he’d say.  He valued the nickels and dimes as well as the big donations because he knew that someday those nickels and dimes would turn into larger gifts.  He taught us to value everybody’s donation,” Stern recalled. “’Every gift is important and every volunteer is a treasure.’” 

Today, many healthcare institutions tout their holistic approach, but City of Hope was one of the first to practice this philosophy, Stern said, citing City of Hope’s credo emblazoned on its Golter Gate: “There is no profit in curing the body, if in the process we destroy the soul.” “This philosophy of caring for the whole person has always been part of City of Hope’s DNA, and I hope it never diminishes,” Stern said.

She is motivated to carry on her work not only by this compassionate philosophy, but also by the cutting-edge science at City of Hope. She remembers the excitement generated when City of Hope geneticist Arthur Riggs, Ph.D., now director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope, helped synthesize the human insulin gene, leading to the creation of synthetic human insulin. “To be part of something that changes science,” said Stern, “how awesome is that?”

During the more than 60 years she has been promoting the institution, Stern has personally met and heard countless stories about patients who have been saved at City of Hope – after other hospitals declared their cases hopeless. “What they’re really saying is that they can’t help you, but what I say is don’t give up,” she advises those with dire diagnoses. “Get another opinion at City of Hope.”

Stern’s son and two daughters have shared her support of City of Hope over the years, and now her grandchildren have joined the cause, ringing doorbells for the Seattle Walk for Hope, just as Stern did as a child. Her husband, Michel, also has been a consistently invaluable fundraiser for the Walk. Quietly recruiting his friends to sponsor him, he has become the event’s  top fundraiser each year.  

A tireless fundraiser, Stern has raised millions of dollars for City of Hope through individual donors and corporations. She was the youngest person ever elected to serve on the Board of Directors, and was named to City of Hope’s “Gallery of Achievement,” the most prestigious honor the medical center can bestow on a lay leader.

“To this day, I really believe that we can and are making a difference in the lives of people worldwide," Stern said. "My goal is to be alive when the cancer breakthrough happens.”
 

Profile - Bobbie Stern of Washington state

Centennial Convention Profile: Bobbie Stern of Washington state

With the Centennial Convention celebrating City of Hope's volunteer fund-raisers, we take this opportunity to highlight a few...
 
By Roberta Nichols
 
Bobbie Meltzer Stern’s family has supported City of Hope for five generations – beginning in 1928 when her grandparents, Abe and Razel Rosenfeld, helped found the Portland Builders of Health chapter in Oregon.

Bobbie Stern
A member of City of Hope’s Board of Regents, Stern remembers hearing about the moment the philanthropic torch was first passed to a new generation in her family: her mother, Fern Rosenfeld Meltzer.  In 1950, the Rosenfelds and daughter Fern attended a fundraiser for City of Hope in Murietta Hot Springs, Calif.  After writing a check to City of Hope, Rosenfeld turned to his daughter and said, “OK, now, it’s your turn.”  

“He verbally turned over the reins of leadership to my mother, who proudly accepted the challenge,” Stern said. In 1951, Meltzer founded the Seattle Cancer Guild, which became the Seattle Chapter of City of Hope. 

The chapters were instrumental to the growth of City of Hope, particularly in the early days, Stern said. “There were over 570 active chapters throughout the country when I started,” she said. “It was a huge support network fondly called The People’s Movement – and it was.  Volunteers nationwide raised thousands of dollars and donated hundreds of hours of valuable time.”
 
As a child, Stern remembered the contagious enthusiasm of those coming to her home to talk about raising money for a hospital she had never seen and a place she had never heard of – City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. “They were raising money to maintain compassionate, free patient care, always believing: ‘If you’re sick, I should help you; if I’m sick, you should help me.’”

When she was only 9 years old, Stern began taking donation canisters to downtown Seattle, urging strangers to contribute to City of Hope. In high school, she began Donnez Nous, a guild of the Seattle chapter. “We were just kids. We didn’t know how to raise money.” 
 
Yet the “DNs” were deeply motivated – and highly resourceful. One of their first fundraisers involved holding a dessert and fashion show in one of their homes, where they made their own desserts, modeled their own clothes and charged each other for admission. 

After college, Stern founded, and became the first president of, the Donnez Nous chapter in 1963, which was made up mostly of young couples from Bellevue and Mercer Island whose parents were actively involved in the Seattle Chapter. 
 
“We went gangbusters!” recalled Stern. After inviting their friends to join, she and the other members  soon began outdoing one another with creative fundraising ideas – including fur and lingerie fashion shows, casino nights, kids’ fashion shows, carnivals, athletic events with local celebrities, “no-party parties,” singing telegrams, and cookbooks replete with ads to cover the costs. 

The concept of appreciating both large – and small – donations  was championed by  former City of Hope Chief Executive Officer  Ben Horowitz. “’You need the few dollars from the many, as well as the many dollars from the few,’ he’d say.  He valued the nickels and dimes as well as the big donations because he knew that someday those nickels and dimes would turn into larger gifts.  He taught us to value everybody’s donation,” Stern recalled. “’Every gift is important and every volunteer is a treasure.’” 

Today, many healthcare institutions tout their holistic approach, but City of Hope was one of the first to practice this philosophy, Stern said, citing City of Hope’s credo emblazoned on its Golter Gate: “There is no profit in curing the body, if in the process we destroy the soul.” “This philosophy of caring for the whole person has always been part of City of Hope’s DNA, and I hope it never diminishes,” Stern said.

She is motivated to carry on her work not only by this compassionate philosophy, but also by the cutting-edge science at City of Hope. She remembers the excitement generated when City of Hope geneticist Arthur Riggs, Ph.D., now director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope, helped synthesize the human insulin gene, leading to the creation of synthetic human insulin. “To be part of something that changes science,” said Stern, “how awesome is that?”

During the more than 60 years she has been promoting the institution, Stern has personally met and heard countless stories about patients who have been saved at City of Hope – after other hospitals declared their cases hopeless. “What they’re really saying is that they can’t help you, but what I say is don’t give up,” she advises those with dire diagnoses. “Get another opinion at City of Hope.”

Stern’s son and two daughters have shared her support of City of Hope over the years, and now her grandchildren have joined the cause, ringing doorbells for the Seattle Walk for Hope, just as Stern did as a child. Her husband, Michel, also has been a consistently invaluable fundraiser for the Walk. Quietly recruiting his friends to sponsor him, he has become the event’s  top fundraiser each year.  

A tireless fundraiser, Stern has raised millions of dollars for City of Hope through individual donors and corporations. She was the youngest person ever elected to serve on the Board of Directors, and was named to City of Hope’s “Gallery of Achievement,” the most prestigious honor the medical center can bestow on a lay leader.

“To this day, I really believe that we can and are making a difference in the lives of people worldwide," Stern said. "My goal is to be alive when the cancer breakthrough happens.”
 
Media Inquiries/Social Media
 
CONNECT WITH US
Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Blog
 
For 100 years, we’ve been a global leader in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Hope powers our dream of curing diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. We need help from people like you. Become a Citizen of Hope, and join us in the fight to save lives all over the world.
Send a gift card in someone's name, memory, or honor. We personalize the cards with your message and mail them for you.
Subscribe to news by email
Subscribe to news and updates from City of Hope to get the latest on our research, treatment and other news you can use.  View our privacy policy.
 
 
 
 
Help Find Cures
Your gift plays an essential role in accelerating our life-saving research and advancing our mission of providing the highest level of patient-centered care to those we serve.
 
 
City of Hope Breakthroughs
Get the latest in City of Hope's research, treatment and news you can use on our blog, Breakthroughs.
 
 


NEWS & UPDATES
  • White button mushrooms seem fairly innocuous as fungi go. Unlike portabellas, they don’t center stage at the dinner table, and unlike truffles, they’re not the subject of gourmand fervor. But appearances can be deceiving when it comes to these mild-mannered Clark Kents of the food world. In a study ...
  • Doctors often recommend preventive screenings for several cancers, based on hereditary or genetic factors, but brain tumors aren’t one of them. Primary brain tumors, which originate in the brain rather than spreading from another location, seem to develop at random, and doctors have little insight into wh...
  • Stopping cancer starts with research. To that end, STOP CANCER has awarded $525,000 in grants to City of Hope for 2015, supporting innovative research projects and recognizing the institution’s leadership in advancing cancer treatment and prevention. Founded in 1988, STOP CANCER underwrites the work of le...
  • Cancer may not be the disease many people think it is. Normally, cancer is considered to be a disease in which cells multiply at an extremely high, and unusual, rate – increasing the likelihood of genetic mutations. But increasingly, leading researchers at City of Hope and elsewhere are contending that cancer i...
  • “Of all forms of inequality, injustice in the health care system is the most shocking and inhumane.” By the time the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke those words in Chicago in 1966, the Civil Rights Act had been passed, the Voting Rights Act was the law of the land and the March on Washington was […]
  • Eight years ago, Matthew Loscalzo surprised himself by accepting the offer to become City of Hope’s administrative director of the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center and executive director of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine. At the time, he was administrative director of the Sc...
  • The mental fog that patients can experience after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer has a name: “chemo brain.” “Many patients report hearing or reading about chemotherapy-related cognitive deficits, but few are actually prepared to deal with these changes,” said Celina Lemon, M.A., an occupational th...
  • Cancer treatments have improved over the years, but one potential source of treatments and cures remains largely untapped: nature. Blueberries, cinnamon, xinfeng, grape seed (and skin) extract, mushrooms, barberry and pomegranates all contain compounds with the potential to treat or prevent cancer. Scientists a...
  • In the U.S., there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate and lung, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year, 5 million people are treated for skin cancer. Here, Hans Schoellhammer, M.D., assistant clinical professor at City of Hope | Ant...
  • As public health experts know, health improvement starts in the community. Now, City of Hope  has been recognized for its efforts to improve the lives of residents of its own community. The institution will receive funding from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement  to support promising community-based work ...
  • For almost four decades, blood cancer survivors who received bone marrow, or stem cell, transplants have returned to City of Hope to celebrate life, second chances and science. The first reunion, in 1976, was a small affair: spaghetti for a single patient, his brother who served as his donor and those who took ...
  • Chemotherapy is an often-essential component of cancer treatment, attacking cells that divide quickly and helping stop cancer’s advance. But the very characteristics that make chemotherapy effective against cancer also can make it toxic to healthy cells, leading to side effects such as hair loss, nausea, ...
  • When you want to understand how to enhance the patient experience, go straight to the source: The patients. Patients and their families offer unique perspectives on care and services and can provide valuable insights about what is working well and what is not. That’s why City of Hope turns to them for advice. S...
  • Take it from City of Hope researchers: Medical science isn’t just for scientists, but something the whole family can enjoy. From 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 16, the institution will offer a variety of educational and fun-filled science and healthy living activities at its second Community Science Festiva...
  • Attention, parents! Only a few serious sunburns can increase a child’s ultimate risk of skin cancer. Further, some studies suggest that ultraviolet (UV) exposure before the age of 10 is the most important factor for melanoma risk. Here skin cancer expert Jae Jung, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the D...