San Diego, CA – May 22, 2014 – A project that began with a birthday cake, candles, and a large challenge to the community will close this Thursday with applause for a job well done, goals met, and a community united. U-T San Diego’s Finish The Fight campaign launched with a pledge by senior leadership of the news organization to raise $1 million in support of the Society’s mission to fund research toward the defeat of cancer, while easing suffering and raising awareness. One year later, the precedent-setting campaign is a success on all accounts. The campaign exceeded goal, increased awareness of the Society’s mission, and forged new community ties between a variety of groups.
“This project is remarkable on a number of levels, but most striking is the bold leadership shown by Papa Doug Manchester and John Lynch,” said David Veneziano, the Society’s leading executive in California. “No news company – anywhere – has marshaled their community, their staff and business contacts in such a fashion. San Diego is lucky to have people like them, and I know our volunteers and staff are deeply grateful to them.”
In the months following the campaign launch, U-T San Diego initiated a series of articles examining the fight against cancer from a variety of viewpoints. Reporters reached out to patients, survivors, and scientists for unique and personal insights on the cancer experience. U-T San Diego staff also engaged their colleagues, at times enlisting them for participation in the Society’s community events and to become part of a unique national study known as Cancer Prevention Study-3, or CPS-3.
“U-T San Diego staff and their coverage of CPS-3 were a driving force in the success of our local enrollment efforts, and ultimately in helping the national study garner enough participants to ensure success. The data we learn from this study will have a strong influence on how we defeat cancer,” said Jennifer Berg-Sobotka, the Society’s vice president for corporate and distinguished partners in California.
“We are very proud of our team,” offered U-T San Diego Chairman and Publisher Papa Doug Manchester. “We saw this as a golden opportunity to help our readers better understand some of the many challenges faced in this fight. And, it was something we felt very strongly about as a news organization – taking a stand, leading, and making a difference in our community are hallmarks of this great group of people at U-T San Diego.”
“We chose to support the American Cancer Society because their mission is something that cuts across the whole community. There isn’t a family, a business, or any group that is not impacted by cancer,” said John Lynch, U-T San Diego’s vice-chairman and CEO. “It just made sense to us all – and we are happy to have made a difference.”
Apart from supporting patient services and community education, the campaign had a serious impact on funding for research toward a cure. There are more than 30 research grants under way at local laboratories, each made possible through donations to the Society. The Society remains the nation’s largest private source of non-governmental grants for cancer research. One in particular, a breast cancer metastases investigation by Jing Yang, Ph.D., at UCSD Moores Cancer Center, can trace its beginning to support through the U-T San Diego project.
That grant became possible through a unique collaboration between U-T San Diego Chairman and Publisher Papa Doug Manchester and Ann Romney. Mrs. Romney is a very vocal advocate for cancer research and partnered with Manchester on a fundraising event shortly before Christmas. That effort provided funds for research on finding cures for breast cancer, as well as for hereditary vision disorders. Andria Kinnear, executive director of The Vision of Children Foundation in San Diego added, “Thanks to his sponsorship, we were able to create a terrific event that benefited both our Foundation and Moores Cancer Center.”
Support for Finish The Fight also involved art students. “ Our campus community was honored to be invited by Papa Doug to join this wonderful, massive county-wide campaign. Through his encouragement, we staged a major fine art showing on campus and donated the proceeds to Finish The Fight. Our themes centered on the healing nature of art, something that anyone who has dealt with the illness can appreciate. It has been a tremendous adventure and an outstanding role model for our students”, offered Suda House Professor of Art and Photography at Grossmont College.
While the campaign officially ends this week, on the 101st anniversary of the American Cancer Society, support for their mission will be ongoing. “We at U-T San Diego are committed to helping the Society defeat cancer, and we encourage our readers and everyone in this community to stay engaged, get educated, and do what they can to support the research that will one day finish this fight, once and for all,” said Papa Doug Manchester.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As we celebrate our 100th year of service, we’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/fight