As the furniture industry and City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, enter a new decade of philanthropic partnership to accelerate cancer research discovery, leaders from both groups recognize key events and people shaping the collaboration since 1965.
City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy such as CAR T cell therapy. City of Hope’s translational research and personalized treatment protocols have advanced care for people throughout the world with cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.
“The furniture industry and City of Hope share an ethos of compassion — caring for others and having a sense of family and home, which makes our partnership and advocacy very special,” said Sharon Joyce, vice president of development at City of Hope. Joyce has worked at the nonprofit for 27 years.
One of the flagship fundraising events of the furniture industry is the West Coast Golf & Tennis Tournament, which started in the early ‘90s. Rick Powell, who founded Powell Company with his father, Larry Powell, was honored with City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award in 1992 and has since spearheaded the tournament to become one of City of Hope’s top-grossing annual events. Over its lifetime, the event has raised more than $18.5 million to advance cures and treatment innovation.
“The tremendous success and impact of the golf tournament is because of the dedication of Rick Powell and his team of volunteers — that’s what has grown this event to what it is today. It’s not uncommon to have 500 people attend the dinner. We have raised as much as $2 million in one year,” said Martin Ploy, president of AICO and past Spirit of Life honoree.
Powell, currently president of Ashjer LLC, devotes his time to helping nonprofits raise money. He said, “It’s important to share this with the newer faces of the industry who may not know about City of Hope and the enormous impact that this golf tournament has had for cancer research and treatment nationally and around the world. Not a week goes by that I don’t have someone reach out to me who can benefit from City of Hope,” he added, referencing the lifesaving therapies City of Hope provides.
Each year, City of Hope honors an individual or organization from the home furnishings industry who will lead fundraising efforts for the golf tournament. This year’s honoree is Roy Hester, senior vice president and managing director of Planned Furniture Promotions. Hester is a 50-year industry veteran, and no stranger to community activism and philanthropic leadership, having helped furnish several homes for disabled veterans and their families.
See the list of past honorees.