Kansas City, Kan — The Kansas Masonic Foundation on Friday announced a $2 million campaign to support the Kansas University Cancer Center’s efforts to achieve National Cancer Institute designation.
“We are pleased to celebrate our efforts to date, and to spread the word about Campaign 2011," said Jeff Sowder, president of the Kansas Masonic Foundation.
“Kansas Masons take great pride in the cutting-edge research being done at the University of Kansas Cancer Center and we are pleased to assist KU as it makes application for NCI designation,” he said.
KU hopes to apply for NCI designation in two years. Officials say the designation will ensure that Kansans have greater access to cancer research and treatment.
“Support from organizations like the Kansas Masonic Foundation will help us achieve National Cancer Institute designation,” said Gov. Mark Parkinson, who, along with Lt. Gov. Troy Findley and KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, attended a news conference recognizing the Kansas Masons,
The Kansas Masonic Foundation has supported cancer research programs at KU for more than 34 years and has raised $21 million in the quest for NCI designation. In 2008, it completed a $15 million campaign.
For the new $2 million campaign, Kansas Masons and their friends have already raised $700,000.
“This funding will help us advance cancer awareness and research throughout the region," said Dr. Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center. “We are very grateful for our continued partnership with the Kansas Masonic Foundation,” he said.
There are nearly 25,000 Masons, who represent 244 Masonic lodges in Kansas.