At its annual statewide fall conference Saturday, the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW presented OMRF with a gift of $4,585 to fund cancer research. Since 1965, the group has given OMRF more than $130,000 to fight the disease.
The Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW counts chapters in more than 80 Oklahoma cities and towns. Its members raise money for OMRF through bake sales, crafts, bingo and individual donations.
“We held a ‘cancer bazaar, where our members donated and bought crafts to raise money, and we sell cancer pins every year. We even had a ‘Pretty in Pink’ fashion show that brought in some donations,” said Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW Cancer Chair Connie Bjorgo. “Supporting OMRF is one of our major projects and always will be. We know cancer is serious, but we have a good time raising money for the cause. We know the work we’re doing can someday help save lives.”
OMRF researchers are working on several different fronts to better understand and treat cancer. Scientists Courtney Gray Montgomery, Ph.D., and Hong Chen, Ph.D., have made inroads into the genetic roots of colon and prostate cancers. Gary Gorbsky, Ph.D., recently discovered an enzyme that could be a new target in the fight to stop unchecked growth in certain types of cancer.
Rheal Towner, Ph.D., and Robert Floyd, Ph.D., have found a novel treatment for glioblastoma, the brain cancer that took the lives of Sen. Edward Kennedy and Oklahoma native and former New York Yankee star Bobby Murcer. Their work has shown promising results in preclinical research, and they hope to begin clinical trials in humans soon.
“The generosity of the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW helps make our scientists’ work possible,” said Ginny Carl, OMRF’s senior director of development. “For 45 years, they’ve been wonderful partners in the quest to find new ways to treat a disease that affects too many Oklahomans and people everywhere.”
The Ladies Auxiliary counts more than 767,000 members nationwide and has chapters throughout Oklahoma, including in the following cities:
Founded in 1914, the group consists of wives and relatives of veterans, as well as female veterans themselves. In addition to raising funds for cancer treatment and research, the Auxiliary awards scholarships through its Voice of Democracy Program and provides more than eight million hours of volunteer service in local communities.