Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Charitable Donations: Cam Neely Foundation

Hockey Blog In Canada is proud to have brought this continuing series to you, the readers, in order to show everyone how involved hockey players are in their respective communities. Today is no different as we look at another charitable organization that looks to help people fighting cancer in Boston, Massachusetts. The Cam Neely Foundation For Cancer Care has made huge strides since its inception in helping people fight this disease. Not only do they provide funding for cancer research, but they also assist people by providing whatever care and support they may need during their time of need. The former Boston Bruins winger was touched by cancer in his own life, so he is committed to helping those that supported him throughout his career.

Mission Statement: According to the foundation's website, "[t]he Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care, The Neely House, and The Neely Cancer Fund exist for one reason - to help cancer patients and their families during their treatment.

  • "The Cam Neely Foundation makes it all financially possible. The special relationship with Tufts Medical Center's Cancer Center ensures easy access to Boston's world-renowned medical facilities and unmatched compassionate care. Together, we recognize that everyone's needs are unique, and therefore we strive to provide whatever care, emotional support, and hope possible to facilitate the healing process.
  • "The Neely House provides a convenient, comfortable place to live, relax, and talk to others.
  • "The Neely Cancer Fund supports treatment and research efforts."
How Did The Cam Neely Foundation Start?: As I stated above, Cam Neely was touched by the devastating effects of cancer.

"The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care was launched in 1995 by the Neely family after the passing of their parents Marlene and Michael Neely from cancer. This experience created the inspiration to help others living with cancer. With the dream of honoring their beloved parents and the hope of helping others, The Cam Neely Foundation was created to help cancer patients and their families during treatments.

"Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $16 million from donations of all sizes, impacted thousands of families and continue to dedicate ourselves to designing, funding, and completing projects with immediate and tangible results."

Those are some pretty impressive results. Clearly, Mr. Neely is doing a world of good for the people of Boston through his efforts in raising funds for cancer research. However, the two branches of the Cam Neely Foundation are just as important as the actual foundation itself.

The Neely Cancer Fund "is dedicated to finding new ways to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families as they undergo treatment", but they also help patients after treatments. The Cam Neely Foundation is responsible for two major centers at the Tufts Medical Center.

The Neely Center for Clinical Cancer Research was designed and renovated in the summer of 2003, and the Center "provides cancer patients and their families the opportunity to have more rapid access to important, new cancer studies and treatments". Patients have access to staff at the Tufts Medical Center who can help to develop, coordinate and oversee their cancer therapy.

The foundation is also responsible for The Neely Cell Therapy and Collection Center. "Cancer and leukemia patients or related or unrelated transplant donors often spend several hours in one sitting having their stem cells extracted in order for laboratory technicians to process them for infusion back into the patient. In keeping with the Foundation's mission of providing comfort to cancer patients and their families, improving the physical environment for these patients or their donors was a priority as stem cell transplantation affects so many patients seen at Tufts Medical Center's Cancer Center". This newly-renovated 4000 sq. ft. area is complete with "specially-chosen furnishings, warm color palette, hardwood floors, state-of-the-art flat screen monitors for television and DVDs". All of this was essential in the re-design for patients to be in the utmost comfort.

The Cam Neely Foundation isn't done, though. They have already started the building of The Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, located within The Floating Hospital for Children's Cancer Center. This unit will allow parents to remain close to their children during their treatments instead of being kept at a distance due to former medical procedures.

"'The new Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit will, of course, provide the state-of-the-art medical technology and facilities required to care for children looking for hope from these intense treatment programs,' says Larry Wolfe, M.D., Chief, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at The Floating Hospital for Children. 'Perhaps more importantly, the physical design of the unit will focus on not only world-class medical care, but the entire experience of care for the patient and their family. The Neely unit will transform the story of bone marrow transplant for a child by providing the amenities that will enable families to view this unit full of technology and intense treatments as a temporary, unthreatening home of healing,' explains Dr. Wolfe."

The second project that the Cam Neely Foundation is working to raise funds for is The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research. "In October 2005, The Neely Foundation announced its commitment to raise $5 million for the establishment of The Michael Neely Center for Brain Tumor Care and Research, in memory of Michael Neely, father of Cam and Scott and their sisters Shaun and Christine. Michael Neely valiantly lost his battle with brain cancer in November 1993". The improvements being made will allow the patients staying at this world-class facility to access all services associated with brain tumors - imaging, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and clinical trails. Currently, over $3.5 million has been raised for the new Center, so there is still work to be done.

This is fabulous work, and Mr. Neely and the staff on his foundation should be commended for their incredible work. However, this is only the first branch of the Cam Neely Foundation.

The Neely House, located at the Tufts Medical Center, is "a bed and breakfast style home away from home for cancer patients and their families". The warm, caring environment was built to help patients and their families by building bonds with other families in similar situations as well as providing a nurturing environment for all those affected by cancer.

"After opening its doors in 1997 with eight beautifully designed, self contained apartments with all of the comforts of home, The Neely House expanded to sixteen private apartments in 2000 and now encompasses over 15,000 square feet, with two common kitchen areas and two living rooms. The space is designed to encourage group conversation or provide quiet corners for reading. Families can also enjoy the privacy of their own accommodation that features a kitchenette, private bath and a warm and homelike environment. All necessities such as laundry, telephone, answering machines, internet access, movie and reading libraries have been considered and are integral to the amenities available to families."

Over 3000 families have stayed at The Neely House since its doors opened. The average stay is approximately three weeks, and the longest stay to date is 51 weeks. All of this is made possible through donation from sponsors and people like you.

The Boston Bruins and the NHL are corporate sponsors of the Cam Neely Foundation, but there are a pile of other sponsors as well. One of those includes hockey fan and stand-up comedian/actor Denis Leary. You can view all the corporate sponsors of the Cam Neely Foundation here.

The Cam Neely Foundation is doing an immense service for the people of Boston, Massachusetts. I commend their work, and am proud to outline their fantastic organization on this blog.

How Can I Help?: As seen above, there are a number of initiatives and projects with which the Cam Neely Foundation is involved. I'll run down the different ways you can help in the next few paragraphs.

You can make a gift directly to the Cam Neely Foundation or The Neely House by following this link. You can choose where the gift is used, and the dollar amount you'd like to donate. You can also donate in someone's name which might be a nice gift to give someone, or a nice tribute or memorial to someone who may have already passed on.

You can help a family stay at The Neely House by donating $20 per night. The form for this donation is found here, and your donation goes directly to helping someone who is fighting cancer.

You can choose to donate stock. "By donating appreciated stock, you maximize your gift to the charity while minimizing your taxes. Instead of selling the stock and paying capital gains taxes out of your pocket and then sending the cash to the charity, you can donate the appreciated security to the charity, which can then sell the asset on its own without tax consequences. And you can deduct the full market value of the holding at the time of donation". If this interests you, I encourage you to call the Cam Neely Foundation directly at (617) 346-5900.

You can bequest your estate to the foundation. I suggest reading through the information on bequeathing before making this decision to see if it is right for you.

You can name one of the rooms in The Neely House or the newly-built Neely Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. These two centers need your support to help as many people as they can, and they have a number of rooms and areas that can be named as a tribute or memorial to someone or yourself. Please call the Cam Neely Foundation at (617) 346-5900 for more information.

If you're in charge of a corporation, the Cam Neely Foundation can help your tax situation as well. There are a number of ways that corporate donors can help out, and I encourage you to read this page to find something that may interest you.

You can also volunteer your time to help the Cam Neely Foundation. If the work that the Cam Neely Foundation is doing interests you, you can help them out by filling out this form and donating your time and efforts in helping people fight cancer. If you are unable to donate anything in terms of a monetary value, this type of donation will also go a long way in helping someone out.

Lastly, if you like to be involved at the events in terms of supporting the foundation, I encourage you to check their calendar of events on the Cam Neely Foundation website. There are events planned monthly, it seems, so there's always something going on. You can see photos of past events here, read the past newsletters here, and read all the media coverage that the foundation has received by clicking here.

If you'd like to join the Cam Neely Foundation's mailing list, I encourage you to fill out the form found here. If you do have any questions about anything that the Cam Neely Foundation is doing, please email them at dlavoie-at-camneelyfoundation-dot-org. You can also call them at (617) 346-5900, or send them a letter via snail mail at:
The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care
30 Winter Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

The Cam Neely Foundation, the NHLPA, and the foundation's namesake, Cam Neely, are helping the communities they live in. It's time for us to help them as well.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great posting about Cam's work here at Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children. Cam and his family have been amazing partners and have made a difference in the lives of so many cancer patients and their families. Not a day goes by that we don't hear from someone directly impacted by Cam and Scott's passion and compassion. If you would like to see a video of Cam talking about his work, visit http://www.tuftsmc.org/camneely/index.html
Brooke Tyson Hynes, VP of Public Affairs and Communications, Tufts Medical Center