The Arizona Elks Major Projects has committed to raise $2.5 million for the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center over the next 10 years.
The Arizona Elks Major Projects has supported the Steele Center since 1991, and already has raised more than $5 million to fund a research endowment, education and clinical care.
With this new commitment, $1 million will support basic science research in autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. In addition, funds will support translating this basic science to patients by building a translational research center in Phoenix.
The rest—$1.5 million—will be used to establish the Arizona Elks Endowed Chair in Statewide Pediatric Research. The endowed chair will guarantee financial support in perpetuity, ensuring that the efforts made by the Arizona Elks today benefit children into the future. The prestige of the endowed chair will help recruit a top-notch clinical research leader to head the Steele Center’s Phoenix enterprise. The Arizona Elks chair holder will lead the translation of science from “proof of principle” in the laboratory to effective changes in how children are treated for disease in the future.
“Our commitment to the doctors, researchers and young patients who depend on our support will continue to be part of Arizona Elks `good-deed list’ for years to come,” said Jerry Grimes, president of the Arizona Elks Major Projects. “We appreciate the opportunity to be part of this expanded program in Phoenix, which will benefit so many who otherwise would be unable to take advantage of new medical breakthroughs.”
Grimes leads the philanthropic arm of the Arizona Elks, whose 28,000 members work year-round to raise funds to support their theme: “Children’s laughter is what we’re after.” Each lodge holds fundraisers and special events to contribute to their commitment to improving the health of Arizona’s children.
“This is a testament to the positive relationship we share with the Arizona Elks,” said Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, director of the Steele Center. “They truly are our partners in improving children’s health throughout Arizona and beyond.”
“The passion shown by Dr. Ghishan and the researchers at the Steele Center only strengthens our decision to continue supporting the work that may one day provide cures for childhood diseases that touch the lives of the innocent,” said Grimes.