(Contest Nominee) CANCER LEAGUE OF COLORADO is an All-Volunteer Organization Devoted to Finding Cure for Cancer

Seven Colorado charities have been nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place on Facebook from March 17-31, 2014. The local community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. $7,500 in cash donations will be split between nominees based on the voting results. CLICK HERE for voting page

There are many things that make Cancer League of Colorado a unique and remarkable organization. For starters, it is entirely volunteer-run. 100% volunteer, 100% Colorado.  There are no paid staff members, no offices, nor overhead administration. This enables them to devote every cent of the nearly $1 million they raise every year toward their mission, which is to find a cure for cancer.

Cancer League has about 400 members that share the volunteer-led board’s passion for cancer research and support services. Their $45 annual membership fees offset any of the organization’s nominal expenses so that all funds raised by the organization go directly toward cancer research projects and cancer support services.

Started in 1969 by five women who had lost their husbands to cancer, Cancer League of Colorado was originally an auxiliary fundraising arm of the American Cancer Society.  In 1985, the organization broke off from the Society to form its own separate 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The goal was, and continues to be, to support organizations throughout the state of Colorado that perform cancer research, as well as organizations that support cancer patients and their families, and not solely the University’s activities.

Cancer League was instrumental in establishing the Colorado Ronald McDonald House and QuaLife, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for cancer patients. Research funded by Cancer League has been successful in leading to ground breaking discoveries, particularly in the field of genetic research. Its funding played a major role in the following discoveries:

  • Establishment of a link between DDT and testicular, prostate and breast cancer
  • Discovery of a protein that controls silencing DNA cell processes, which, if mutate, can lead to cancer
  • Identification of cancer-specific gene expression markers
  • Discovery of a region of cell cycle protein, which is essential for its function in regulating normal cell division
  • Discovery of the gene targets involved in acute leukemia in humans

“It’s a great organization that does tremendous things,” explained Gary Reece, current president of Cancer League of Colorado.

Cancer League holds four major fundraising events every year. The first and biggest one is its Hope Ball gala in May. “It has one of the best art shows and live and silent auctions in the city,” says Reece.

The second event is unique event in July called “Over the Edge”, in which participants rappel off the side of a building in Downtown Denver, and people sponsor them.  This is followed by its 5k Race for Research held in Denver’s Wash Park every August. Then there’s an annual Golf Tournament in September.

Additionally, Reece says, many people hold their own fundraising events in the memory of a loved one or to support someone battling cancer. “They’ll raise a few thousand dollars, which doesn’t do go far by itself in terms of funding research.  But, we’ll bundle that together with other funds so that they can participate in making a real impact and a meaningful difference in the fight against cancer.”

Another unique part of the organization is that it funds early stage cancer research.  Cancer League has a scientific advisory board comprised of more than a dozen doctors and researchers from around the state of Colorado that review grant applications from cancer researchers. “It’s called seed research, where young researchers try to prove a theory and then take those results to the National Institutes of Health or the National Cancer Institute where his or her research can get fully funded,” explained Reece. On average, every dollar Cancer League directs to cancer research generates $20 in additional funding from these larger institutions. Most significantly, Reece points out, all the research money stays in the state of Colorado.  Each year, they award about 85% of the funds they raise to support approximately 25 of these cancer research grants, which usually range from $30,000 to $60,000 per grant a year for cancer research.

Cancer League also donates about 15 percent of their fundraising efforts toward service grants for organizations that provide support and comfort to cancer patients and their families. These include groups like LifeSpark, an organization that provides free massage and Reiki healing to cancer patients, Brent’s Place, Reel Recovery, MyLifeline.org, and Kids Alive, a support organization for the children of cancer patients.

If you’d like to support this organization, consider becoming a member or attending or volunteering for one of their fundraising events. Cancer League welcomes volunteers to help with fundraising, communications, grant writing, IT and financial management.

A $5,000 donation would be applied to fund a Colorado cancer research grant, and would eventually be worth as much as $100,000 after it’s supported by additional funds from a larger national research institution.

For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.CancerLeague.org


Vote to Give Cancer League a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a family owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with Cancer League of Colorado. Through our Charity Hand-Up Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of Colorado nonprofits. The local community is invited to cast a vote on Facebook for one of seven nominated Colorado causes. Based on the 15-day vote, Citywide Banks will divide $7,500 in cash contributions among the seven charities nominated by bank employees. The charity with the most votes will receive the top $5,000 donation. Contest voters can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at a top Denver restaurant. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – March 17-31, 2014
The contest is open to the general public within the Denver/Boulder community (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to cast a vote/entry online. One vote/entry is permitted during the 15-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users can use the sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity. There is even an added bonus prize drawing for those voters that post the contest on their own Facebook timeline.

Spread the Word about Cancer League
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado to cast their vote on Facebook. Use the sharing buttons above this article, on the Facebook voting page, or throughout Citywide Banks’ social media pages to help spread the word.

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