The Sabatassos are longtime supporters of Providence Mission Hospital, most recently donating to the Digestive Health Institute.
Their compassion now extends to the patients and families at City of Hope® Orange County. Donna and Kurt have made a generous $250,000 matching gift with the hope of inspiring others to join them in supporting the region’s new comprehensive cancer center. “Donna and I feel that it’s incumbent upon us to give something back to the community that helped us be successful and to help those who perhaps we’ll never meet, but who need the help anyway.”
The decision to make their significant gift was initially born out of conversations with Annette M. Walker, president of City of Hope Orange County. Donna and Kurt have a long-standing friendship with Annette and her husband, Chuck, and the four became close as their children grew up together. “We watched Annette’s career as she moved up through the health care system,” Donna explains. “She was so excited about City of Hope coming to Orange County, so we asked her to tell us more about it. City of Hope always seemed like it was in a distant land, and it was a burden for people to drive so far while they’re fighting cancer. So to have a nationally known cancer center like City of Hope in Orange County is huge.”
As a cancer survivor himself, Kurt agrees. “When you’re really sick and you have quick access to treatment, it makes all the difference,” he says. “And when you have a population as big as we have, this just gives everyone a more convenient and viable alternative.” Orange County is the sixth most populous county in the nation, and despite the county’s reputation for healthy living, the cancer incidence rate is projected to increase by 18% over the next decade. That’s why the Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County and the comprehensive cancer hospital, scheduled to open in 2025, are so critical to the region.
Annette M. Walker feels blessed to call Kurt and Donna friends and neighbors: “Anyone who knows Kurt and Donna knows that they are kind and generous people, so no one will be surprised to hear that, again, they are lending aid to help ensure our community has access to the incredible expertise that City of Hope provides.”
The Sabatassos are hopeful that their challenge gift will get other potential donors excited about supporting City of Hope Orange County. “We thought it would be a great way to donate because now anyone who wants to give will see their gift and their impact get immediately doubled,” Donna says. “I think that’s a great incentive to support such a wonderful organization. We feel very blessed to have City of Hope within our community.”