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H Foundation - Goombay Bash

Platanias & Kate Harken H Foundation 2014
The H Foundation's Executive Director, Kate Harken, presents a check to Lurie Cancer Center Director, Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD

For nearly fifteen years, The H Foundation a non-profit organization founded by businesspeople in and near west suburban LaGrange, Ill., has grossed more than $5 million, of which $3.3 million has provided seed money for the Lurie Cancer Center, which in turn has leveraged $35 million in a wide variety of grants – all for basic science research.

Proceeds from The H Foundation's wildly successful Goombay Bash — A Caribbean Festival to Find a Cure for Cancer — provide the majority of its philanthropic funds.

"The Lurie Cancer Center continues to benefit from The H Foundation’s pioneering support for basic research in cancer,” said Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, director of the Lurie Cancer Center. “Each year, 14 million people are diagnosed with cancer and eight million succumb to the disease. Cancer can only be defeated by physicians, scientists, and philanthropists working together. The H Foundation and its many supporters provide critical funding to our investigators, accelerating the pace of breakthrough discoveries that will ultimately benefit patients in the future." In December 2014, The H Foundation presented Dr. Platanias with a check for $225,000.

Members of the H Foundation Board
H Foundation Board Members

In recognition of the extraordinary commitment of the H Foundation board, the Lurie Cancer Center's basic science symposium is now named the "H Foundation Annual Basic Science Symposium." The H Foundation's fundraising support has led to many innovative and successful projects in the area of cancer research. By furthering laboratory-based research, the H Foundation has allowed physician-scientists at the Lurie Cancer Center to pursue unique ideas and collect the initial data that ultimately results in their ability to compete successfully for larger, external grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other agencies.

The cumulative accomplishments made possible by support from the H Foundation serve as a tremendous testament to the importance of private funding for basic science research at the Lurie Cancer Center. With these laboratory discoveries, researchers across Northwestern University strive to translate new findings into improved clinical treatments and cures for cancer patients everywhere.