The Trustees of Mission Foundation, on October 27, announced they had reached their $15 million goal to help fund the new $59 million SECU Cancer Center building that will open in stages during the next few weeks on the Mission campus in Asheville. Campaign Chairman Peter Fontaine announced the achievement during a special donor luncheon held Thursday at Lioncrest on the Biltmore Estate. “The Foundation team, the community and our many friends at the State Employees’
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Credit Union have come together and given generously during the past 24 months to reach this major goal,” said Fontaine. “The campaign is one of the largest successful campaigns in the region during the past decade,” said John Locke, Foundation Campaign Director. “It shows that when our region feels passionate about ‘taking care of its own’, they step up and give generously.” The campaign was lead by a $5 million grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation. In recognition of their gift, the building will be known as the SECU Cancer Center. “SECU Foundation was formed with the philosophy of ‘People Helping People.’ By partnering with Mission Hospital and the Mission Healthcare Foundation, State Employees’ Credit Union members, via their Foundation, are able to continue putting this philosophy into practice.
Many SECU members and their families have been touched by cancer, and their landmark gift of $5 million to the SECU Cancer Center will help to bring a wide array of benefits to cancer patients living in the western part of North Carolina,” Said Jim Barber, SECU Foundation Chairman. A recent $1 million gift from the Jack and Carolyn Ferguson Charitable Foundation had a major impact on the success of the campaign. The Ferguson’s granddaughter is fighting her second bout with breast cancer and Carolyn notes, “Her battle with the disease made us especially aware of how important a first class cancer treatment center is to any region.” Leon Elliston, M.D., chairman of the Mission Foundation Board of Trustees indicated the board was “overwhelmed by the outpouring of gifts, from donors who are excited about offering coordinated cancer care in a state-of-the-art facility for our region’s cancer patients and their families. “Mission’s affiliation with UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the arrival of Dr.
Margaret Offermann , recently appointed Medical Director for Mission Cancer, will usher in a new era of cancer care in Western North Carolina” said Dr. Elliston. Dr. Offerman joined Mission in September coming from the American Cancer Society’s national office in Atlanta after a distinguished career as a researcher and physician at Emory University.