Annual Report 2013: Ending Cancer Together
Alan and C.J. Ashton of Spokane, Wash. have been supporters of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for more than 20 years. As the couple planned their retirement, they decided to make a significant and long-lasting commitment with a gift in their will.
"We have always believed very strongly in giving our time and money to worthwhile causes, and Fred Hutch has been at the top of our list for a long time," Alan said.
Since retiring three years ago, Alan and C.J. can think more strategically about their legacy and how to maximize the impact of their giving. In addition to supporting Fred Hutch, they have also volunteered their time at hospice and community-based assistance programs to help those in need.
And at a Spokane hospital, the couple performs administrative work so medical staff can focus on caring for patients. "It's been very rewarding," Alan said.
Behind their generosity is a precise approach designed to maximize the impact of their giving. This is one reason that Alan and C.J. have chosen to include Fred Hutch in their will with an estate gift, which can be optimized to fit a benefactor's specific circumstances while helping Fred Hutch plan for the future.
"For a research center such as Fred Hutch, there is a need for different sources of revenue. We like feeling that we are fitting in, like pieces of a puzzle that includes private sources in addition to government grants," Alan said.
Fred Hutch is equally strategic with the private support it receives. Scientists can quickly leverage planned gifts into government grants that are often 10 or even 100-times larger than the original private investment. Together, Fred Hutch and likeminded partners can do more in the fight against cancer than otherwise possible.
"For us, the connection is how personally affected we are by family and friends who have had cancer," Alan said.
As a prostate cancer survivor himself, Alan knows firsthand how research can impact patients and families.
"Our desire is to support cancer research as a broad-based approach to understanding the disease," Alan said. "And Fred Hutch has such a well-rounded approach. They aren't looking at just genetics or the environment, but anything and everything that could contribute to understanding the various causes of cancer and the development of effective treatments for those who are affected."
“For a research center such as Fred Hutch, there is a need for different sources of revenue. We like feeling that we are fitting in, like pieces of a puzzle that includes private sources in addition to government grants.”
– Alan Ashton