May 13, 2011 — Coral Gables — The Pap Corps presented its annual gift to Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine—a check for $3.4 million to fund cancer research. It is the second highest amount raised by the grassroots organization, which continues to astound and defy economic trends.
The check was presented to Joseph D. Rosenblatt, interim director of Sylvester, W. Jarrard Goodwin, chief medical officer of Sylvester/UMHC – University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, and Pascal J. Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Miller School and chief executive officer of UHealth-University of Miami Health System.
Pap Corps President Naomi Prever welcomed the crowd of more than 300 and said she had high hopes when she began the year of fundraising, adding “it’s because of all of you that I have a passion for this cause.” Prever thanked the executive committee of the Pap Corps for their dedication and “making the community aware of the important research going on at Sylvester.”
The presentation took place at the annual Pap Corps President’s Meeting at Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton on May 12. The Pap Corps is an all-volunteer organization made up of 21,000 members within 54 chapters across the tri-county area. Their mission is to raise money to fund cancer research at Sylvester, a task that has been ongoing since the group formed in 1952. Since that time, the dedicated Pap volunteers have raised close to $40 million, including $29.4 million in the last ten years.
Dean Goldschmidt admitted that each year, he can’t wait for this day to arrive. “Wow!” he declared. “You deserve to give yourselves a round of applause.” He drew heartfelt applause when he promised, “we will never be comfortable, we will never sit down until we develop effective treatments for all types of cancer.” The dean pointed out that the annual funds are a worthy investment in the only university-based cancer center in South Florida. “Your vision and support have allowed us to expand our Deerfield facility and meet even more patients’ needs.”
In 2010, Sylvester at Deerfield Beach underwent a dramatic expansion to build the multidisciplinary Women’s Center and Radiation Oncology Center. Charles Vogel, professor of medicine and renowned breast cancer expert, has returned to UM to lead the Women’s Center, while breast and lung cancer expert Mohammad Jahanzeb, associate professor of medicine, has taken on the task of medical director of the entire facility.
For Goodwin, this was his 16th check presentation from the Pap. He thanked Prever, executive vice president Joanne Goldberg, treasurer Hannah Scheff, and all the volunteers for their tireless energy and dedication. “It’s safe to say that you are all an integral part of the work that we do,” he added. Goodwin pointed out that over the past year, Sylvester had broken ground on a two-story pediatric clinic and the Florida legislature approved another $5 million in funding after their $10.5 million special appropriation last year.
The annual gift from The Pap Corps provides critical seed money to Sylvester physicians and scientists to develop experimental data in order to successfully apply for grants from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and other national funding outlets.
This annual donation has grown even more critical in recent years. Rosenblatt pointed out that “while enormous progress has been made in cancer treatment, there is still a lot more to do and the only way is through research.” Ten years ago, 30 percent of grant applications were funded, but that number has plunged to just 7 percent, making the Pap gift a lifeline.
“Because your fundraising fills this void and enables us to keep seeking therapies, our partnership is life and death,” Rosenblatt told the group.
For more information about The Pap Corps, Champions for Cancer Research, please call 877-495-8100 or visit www.papcorps.org.
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