DALLAS, TX – (October 31, 2019) – The Mary Kay FoundationSM recently awarded over $3 million in cancer research and domestic violence shelter grants around the country. The Mary Kay Foundation was established in 1996 with the overarching purpose of eliminating cancers affecting women. In 2000, The Foundation expanded to include ending domestic violence as part of its mission.
100 domestic violence shelters across the country, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, have been awarded $20,000 each, totaling $2 million. The Foundation is committed to funding the life-saving work of women’s shelters, and the annual shelter grant program has helped finance critical needs including emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling and legal aid. All of these resources support women and children as they seek refuge and relief on their journey to an abuse-free life.
While a majority of domestic violence shelter grant recipients use the unrestricted funds for necessary operating expenses, others will complete repairs and facility renovations or add programs and resources based on the unique needs of their shelter and the clients they serve. Margie’s Haven House in Heber Springs, Arkansas, for example, plans to use their grant on a vehicle to help transport their clients to safety. In Decatur/Macon County, Illinois, and four surrounding counties, Dove, Inc. funds will be applied to the expense of increasing security to the entrance of their shelter. The exterior shelter door will be replaced with a fiberglass door, and an interior wall and an additional door will be added at the reception area.
Nearly 400,000 women and their families will receive domestic violence support services and free resources through the 100 agencies awarded.
After reviewing more than 70 applications, The Mary Kay Foundation Research Review Committee awarded $100,000 grants to 11 cancer research institutions across the country, totaling $1.1 million. This year’s grant recipients include the following leading research institutions:
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
- Georgetown University
- Michigan State University
- University of California, San Francisco
- University of Kansas Medical Center
- University of Notre Dame
- University of Utah
- UT Southwestern Medical Center
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Weill Cornell Medicine
“At The Mary Kay Foundation, we believe in helping women improve their circumstances and live their best lives,” said Michael Lunceford, President of The Mary Kay Foundation Board of Directors. “Our Foundation seeks to do that in two critical ways: fund breakthrough research in our mission to eliminate cancers affecting women, and provide resources to domestic violence shelters across the country so they can aid survivors.”
The Foundation’s 2019 cancer research grants will support many innovative studies. At Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. Stefanie Avril is conducting groundbreaking research to harness the body’s immune system to eradicate breast cancer. At Georgetown University, Assistant Professor Dr. Cecil Han will utilize the grant to further her research on how changing metabolic pathways impacts the rapid growth and development of ovarian cancer cells in early stage. And at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Dr. Priyanka Sharma will use her 15 years of experience to research efforts on Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Novel Targeted Agents, Breast Cancer Genetics and Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy with the hopes of finding successful treatments for some of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.
“We’ve seen previous grants lead to innovative breakthroughs in the study of breast, uterine, cervical and ovarian cancers, and are excited to see the research contributions of this year’s recipients,” said Lunceford. “By continuing support for these scientists and institutions, we know we are continuing to better the lives of women everywhere.”
Over the course of more than two decades, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has awarded more than $80 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence service providers, as well as cancer research programs and related causes throughout the United States.