Although Golfers Against Cancer (GAC) wrapped up their major annual Kingwood tournament last November, the pay-off came last month when local research organizations received resources generated by participants and corporate sponsors supporting the event. Though GAC has fundraisers in other major cities, the Kingwood golf tournament gala, and live and silent auctions, benefit Houston-based research hospitals and cancer research organizations. GAC founding board member Sally Roberts, of Kingwood, heads the committee in charge of selecting the recipients. The GAC continually evaluates cancer research programs. Although some programs have been supported for years, Roberts said that new research organizations are also evaluated and if they meet the criteria set up by the GAC, also receive funding. MD Anderson cancer research has been a recipient for a number of years. This year GAC selected projects at MD Anderson targeting esophageal and ovarian cancer projects. The efforts of the Methodist Foundation supporting breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer research also received 2013 support. Three other organizations the GAC has partnered with this year through research funding include Baylor College of Medicine, Christus Stehlin Foundation, CapCURE Prostate Cancer Foundation and the University of Houston. GAC Chairman and Founder Bobby Jones said one of the important goals of GAC was to be independent and free to operate as the board saw fit; unaffiliated with other charitable institutions. Though many have done great good, Jones said the organization wanted to control the recipient selection process and set parameters in place to track results. Another benefit to funding cancer research is that qualified organizations are underwritten by national government institutions adding substantially to the total contribution. Golfers Against Cancer funding has lead to “proof of concept” cancer research – resulting in 10-to-one and sometimes 100-to-one funding from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Health and other governmental sources as a result of GAC seed funds, according to Jones. “The support of area residents and corporate sponsors makes a huge difference in the progress of local cancer research. Progress is being made and someday we hope to find a cure,” said Jones. Photo: Golfers Against Cancer board members pose with cancer researchers at a recent recipients luncheon at the Medical Center where checks were awarded area hospitals and organizations involved in finding a cure.

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