As children, many of us were given piggy banks and the first few coins that would help fill it. With this simple gesture, we were being taught not only the importance of saving but also investing – investing in a future that we, as young children, probably couldn’t understand.
With the piggy bank plan, that future might have been something as simple as a special toy we had saved for ourselves, or as important as a personal contribution to our education and future. But it always started the same, with that initial investment destined to grow.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT works the same way. It starts with an initial investment, a vote of confidence and, yes, perhaps a fiscal investment, in something the community can rally behind.
At the Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, we were fortunate to receive a gift – an investment – from the Masters Tournament and the Augusta National Golf Club through the Community Foundation of the CSRA. The $6 million gift represents an important step toward our goal of building something exceptional for our patients, their families, friends and loved ones and the community we are proud to call home.
It’s an incredible, and incredibly generous, step toward our goals. But our plans are ambitious, and will take more than the support from this organization to see us through. It is a project that will require the engagement of as many people as possible.
It will involve increasing our clinical and research staff, continuing to bring world-class physicians and scientists to the Augusta area. It includes expanding our already-robust and nationally known clinical trial program, offering innovative treatments unavailable elsewhere.
Our plans include the construction of a new cancer center facility, designed to make treatment easier, more convenient and more comfortable for our patients. This new facility will encourage greater collaboration between our scientists and clinical staff and replace the existing facilities we are quickly outgrowing.
We believe these plans can address very specific needs – needs that include providing equal access to cancer care and cancer prevention and education.
Our goal, quite simply, is to build a national treasure this community can be proud to call its own. But it’s not something we can do on our own.
REACHING OUR GOAL will require the support – emotional, spiritual and philanthropic – of the entire community. We need your support and your cooperation. Together, we are in a position to do something powerful for Augusta, the
surrounding area and the nation as a whole.
Success depends on this community becoming part of everything we are doing and plan to do. Community participation, in fact, is integral – because, you see, the GRU Cancer Center isn’t just the people who work here on a day-to-day basis.
It’s all of us. Bank on it.
(The writer is director of the Georgia Regents University Cancer Center.)