This week, H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt presented checks totaling $444,318 to OMRF and the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma.
The two charities split the funds, which were proceeds from a dinner and private concert by country music legend Willie Nelson hosted by Rainbolt in celebration of his 90th birthday. Rainbolt underwrote the event and, in lieu of birthday gifts, asked guests to make donations to cancer research to benefit OMRF and Stephenson.
“Medical research holds the key to understanding this disease and finding ways to stop it,” said Rainbolt, the Chairman Emeritus of BancFirst Corp. and a longtime donor to cancer research initiatives in Oklahoma. “I hope these gifts will help make a difference for the patients and families who have to face this terrible disease.”
Approximately 800 guests attended the dinner and concert, which took place at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum on Feb. 20.
“The impact of Gene’s generosity through this event will live on through the ongoing research at the Stephenson Cancer Center,” said Assistant Vice President of Development for the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Stacey Maxon. “The patients, families, physicians and caregivers are very grateful for this significant support.”
This is the second time Rainbolt has capitalized on a “zero” birthday to benefit cancer research. When he turned 80, he hosted a similar concert—also starring Nelson—that raised $340,000 for Stephenson and OMRF.
“What a great way to celebrate a milestone birthday and make an impact on this community at the same time,” said OMRF Vice President of Development Penny Voss. “We salute Gene and the Rainbolt family for their steadfast support for cancer research in Oklahoma.”