Philanthropy is essential to advancing the mission of the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology and developing new treatment options for children with cancer worldwide. The following donors have made significant gifts that have been instrumental to the Center’s launch and early success. Additional support will provide MSK scientists and doctors with the resources they need to bring new hope to children as quickly as possible.
Tow Foundation and Family
The Tow Foundation is a leading benefactor of Memorial Sloan Kettering. Its generous commitment in 2018 founded the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology. Support from The Tow Foundation and its founders, Leonard and Claire Tow, stretches back as far as 1976, and their daughter, Emily Tow, continues the family legacy as the Foundation’s president. Pediatrics has been a longtime focus of the Foundation, and the Claire Tow Pediatric Pavilion and the Claire Tow Pediatric Ambulatory Care Center at MSK both represent this generosity. The Foundation has also supported other transformative projects throughout MSK that have impacted many lives. These include the Tow Foundation Fellowships at the Center for Molecular Imaging and Nanotechnology; the Tow Dermatology Informatics Program; the Lucille Castori Center for Microbes, Inflammation, and Cancer; and the Michael G. Harris Therapy and Cell Engineering Facility.
Ambrose Monell Foundation
The Ambrose Monell Foundation, based in New York City, funds research and social initiatives that can build a more creative, equitable, and innovative society. For more than 60 years, The Ambrose Monell Foundation has generously supported MSK’s mission, with particular focus on the most promising cancer research of the day.
Since 1997, MSK’s running program, Fred’s Team, has been the major donor to the Aubrey Fund, named after Fred’s Team runner and pediatric cancer survivor Aubrey Barr. This initiative provides MSK Kids with resources to advance groundbreaking therapies, novel research, and next-generation treatments for children with cancer. The Aubrey Fund has been a generous early supporter of the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology.
Band of Parents
Band of Parents was founded in 2007 by approximately 100 parents of young children with neuroblastoma who were treated at MSK. The group is committed to funding the development of new therapies for neuroblastoma that would otherwise not be pursued by research institutions or the pharmaceutical industry. Their perseverance in furthering research at MSK led to the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval in 2020 of the drug naxitamab (Danyelza®), a novel immunotherapy for children with neuroblastoma who have not responded to other treatments.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer
When two-year-old Liam Witt was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, his parents, Larry and Gretchen, formed a foundation to help researchers develop safer, more effective pediatric cancer treatments. Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has awarded 18 grants to MSK Kids, leading to numerous clinical trials and new therapies. Most recently, it has funded MSK physician-scientists who are investigating innovative ways to outsmart cancers that have relapsed or not responded to standard care. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has been instrumental to the launch of the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology.
Cycle for Survival
MSK leadership provided $2 million from Cycle for Survival to the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology in 2020. Cycle for Survival is the movement to beat rare cancers. Through team stationary cycling events and more, participants across the country raise money for rare cancer research led by MSK. All pediatric cancers are rare, and supporting pediatric cancer research is an important part of Cycle for Survival’s mission. The Cycle for Survival community has raised more than $260 million since 2007, bringing new and better treatment options for adults and children with cancer around the world.
Kids Walk for MSK Kids
Kids Walk for MSK Kids brings together patients, students, families, and supporters to walk and raise money to fund research and new discoveries at MSK Kids. Since 2001, this community has raised more than $7 million — over $4 million in the last four years alone — and 100% of every dollar goes to fighting pediatric cancers.
In honor of their daughter, Donna and Steve Schmidt founded Maggie’s Mission, a community devoted to raising awareness for pediatric cancers and funding the cutting-edge research that will improve outcomes for children with cancer. Since launching in 2017, Maggie’s Mission has supported studies that aim to discover the fundamental causes of rare rhabdoid tumors and to use this knowledge to develop treatments that are precise, curative, and safe. Maggie’s Mission’s dedication, partnership, and support have been vital in bringing these rare cancer studies from mere ideas into fruition.
Sohn Conference Foundation
The Sohn Conference Foundation has contributed $3.7 million to MSK Kids over the past 13 years to support pediatric research. Their partnership has helped lay a powerful groundwork for the Tow Center for Developmental Oncology.
Sportsmen for Charity
Sportsmen for Charity (SFC) was formed by five members of the New York-area real estate and construction industry who decided to host a day of sporting clay shooting to raise money for meaningful causes. Since 2004, SFC has raised over $3 million to advance research and support children, young adults, and families facing childhood cancers at MSK Kids. As a longstanding partner to MSK Kids, SFC is instrumental to our program’s expansion and to our commitment to bringing forward better and safer options for children with cancer.
Stop & Shop
In 2001, Stop & Shop began hosting an annual monthlong fundraising campaign that rallies both employees and customers in support of MSK Kids. These efforts have resulted in over $25 million raised for pediatric cancer research and care at MSK, providing important resources so our doctors and scientists can improve outcomes and reduce long-term side effects for children with cancer.
The Robert Steel Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research
The Robert Steel Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research was established to honor the memory of Robert Steel, who died in 1984 at the age of eighteen after a heroic two-year struggle against rhabdomyosarcoma. Throughout the years, the Foundation supported MSK programs and initiatives devoted to speeding progress against childhood cancers, and its farsighted generosity has made The Robert Steel Symposium in Developmental Oncology possible. By bringing together leading scientists to address the latest challenges and opportunities in pediatric cancer research and treatment, The Robert Steel Symposium in Developmental Oncology continues to advance the vital work launched by the Robert Steel Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research more than three decades ago.