On Tuesday, OMRF welcomed more than 40 donors, board members and professional advisors to its first Legacy of Hope Society luncheon. The event served as a way to thank to those who have either pledged to leave OMRF in their will or estate plans or have expressed an interest in doing so.
“We wanted to celebrate those who have taken the extraordinary step to do what they can to help others,” said OMRF Senior Director of Development Ginny Carl. “Simply put, these gifts save lives.”
On average, the nonprofit foundation receives more than $2 million per year in estate gifts. These gifts provide an essential portion of OMRF’s annual operating budget, directly supporting research in labs at OMRF on cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
“Everyone has a reason they give,” said Carl. “Whether they lost a family member to cancer or heart disease, or have dealt with something personally like lupus or arthritis, people choose to make a real difference in combating disease by supporting research.”
The luncheon featured a talk from OMRF’s Aging and Metabolism program chair Holly Van Remmen, Ph.D., who spoke on the innovative research being done in her department. Her work has focused on age-related muscle loss and ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Aging and Metabolism program studies a wide range of age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s, osteoarthritis, diabetes, vision loss and more.
“My mother had Alzheimer’s and that was when I became interested in following and supporting the work being done at OMRF,” said Oklahoma City attendee Donna Kornbaum. “It’s been amazing to see how this place has grown and the research being done inside these walls. It’s a special, important place, and this event demonstrates how much they care about their supporters, big or small.”
“The only way to find cures is to make contributions to support the research that can find them,” said Regena Browne of Clinton, who also attended the event. “What better legacy could you leave than to help save lives?”