John and Joanne Fisher:
Investing in the Moffitt Family to Support Pancreatic Research
John & Joanne Fisher
John and Joanne Fisher vividly remember the Moffitt Cancer Center “family” that cared for John when he was being treated for stage two pancreatic cancer. They were impressed by the Tampa facilities and the “wondrous, personalized — almost familial — treatment that John received,” said Joanne.
"The doctors, their staff and nurses all made me feel like I was part of a family being cared for in a home, rather than a hospital," said John. He added, winking, "except for those middle-of-the-night wake-ups to check stats!"
Together, the two have set up a $1 million gift to support pancreatic research at Moffitt.
"We are fully aware that it takes financial support to produce breakthroughs in cancer research that will find the cures for the cancers in this world," they said. Like other generous philanthropists, the Fishers wish to promote and encourage additional donors to join them in funding the cancer research of their choice. "It is only through caring investments of time and monetary resources that Moffitt will be able to find these cures and continue the extraordinary treatment of their patients at their facilities."
Moffitt’s Pancreas Program is home to researchers who are internationally renowned for their advances in pancreatic cancer, and its clinical team consistently performs above the national average with respect to patient outcomes.
Bridging the Gap in Cancer Health Disparities
Closing the gap on cancer health disparities in the Black community is close to the hearts of Victor Young and Jonathan Graham. With their connections to Moffitt, they are getting closer to seeing that goal come to fruition. Young is the vice chair of the Moffitt Medical Group Board of Directors, and Graham is one of the leading construction contractors on Moffitt’s McKinley Hospital, which will open in July 2023.
With Young’s idea, they banded together to organize the event called Helicopters and High Rollers to raise money for the George Edgecomb Society at Moffitt, which focuses on bridging the gap in cancer health disparities for Black people. “There are a lot of individuals in this town who should support the society,” said Young. “I wanted to make sure I was a conduit, connecting them to the organization, so they can see the value and put in their time, treasure and talent behind it.” The poker tournament took place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, with guests arriving in an interesting way — from the sky. Participants arrived in style in a helicopter and played in the tournament, which raised $100,000. “I always want to do something that helps Moffitt Cancer Center because I realize how special their work is, and so when the idea was presented to me by Victor, I was all in,” said Graham. Graham is the creator of the Hook and Slice Golf Tournament, which also raises money for the George Edgecomb Society. With the success of the event, Young and Graham are planning to host another tournament in 2023.
At center, Jonathan Graham and Victor Young present a check from the Helicopters and High Rollers event.
Victor Young, left, with Jonathan Graham
A Magical Combination: Fish, Friends and Fundraising
A beautiful day on the water serves as the backdrop for an annual event that supports cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center. Contractors for a Cure is a fishing tournament that construction company Barr & Barr has organized since 2020. “It’s a lot of work putting these tournaments together, but it feels so good knowing that you are giving all this money to this fantastic organization that helps our friends, families, neighbors and people in our community,” said Lydia McDowell, marketing manager at Barr & Barr.
The 2022 event drew 36 boats and 116 participants, raising more than $230,000. “We have our vendors, subcontractors and even doctors from Moffitt come out to join the tournament,” said Krista Hayes, project director at Barr & Barr and lead organizer of the tournament.
Barr & Barr’s relationship with Moffitt is over two decades strong. The construction company has worked on many Moffitt projects over the years, including the new Moffitt McKinley Hospital, which will open in July. Barr & Barr also has been an ardent supporter of Miles for Moffitt and the Magnolia Ball. “Moffitt is such a great client, and the things they do are amazing. So, if we can contribute in any way, that’s what we are going to do,” said Hayes.
Martinis for Moffitt:
A Party with Heart
It’s no wonder Martinis for Moffitt is often called Tampa Bay’s “hottest party of the summer.” More than a thousand people gather at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa for music, dancing, delicious hors-d’oeuvres and signature martinis.
It’s also a party with heart. Bay Area Advisors launched it in 2006 as a low-key cocktail party and networking event that benefits cancer research. Since then, Martinis for Moffitt has grown bigger, more fun and even more glitzy each year, raising an impressive total of $2 million. It supports Moffitt’s Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration and the Adolescent and Young Adult program.
“We are so blessed to have an institution like Moffitt Cancer Center in our back yard,” said Mark Spence, the 2022 event chair who has been involved for more than 15 years. Bay Area Advisors’ commitment has continued to grow even stronger over time.
"We want to bring as much awareness to cancer prevention and detection as possible, and support cancer research, because it can save lives," said Spence. "That’s what Martinis for Moffitt is all about."
Moffitt Breaks Ground On Global Innovation Center
Moffitt Cancer Center took a massive step in its mission to prevent and cure cancer with the groundbreaking of the 775-acre Speros FL campus coming to Pasco County.
Speros FL will boast 140 buildings that will house clinics, research, housing and more. Approximately 500 acres of the 775 acres will be developed, leaving 35% of the land for environmental conservation. The location off Ridge Road in Land O’Lakes will be convenient to Tampa Bay area commuters and visitors alike and will see its first patients in 2025.
Surgical Hospital on Track for July 31 Opening
The 10-story Moffitt McKinley Hospital will open July 31 as scheduled, allowing Moffitt to expand its state-of-the art surgical services to thousands of patients needing highly complex surgeries and related inpatient care each year.
The 500,000-square-foot hospital is located on more than 20 acres across the street from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center. Starting with 80 inpatient beds fully staffed and 96 equipped, it will have the capacity to expand to 400 in future phases as demand grows. The new inpatient surgical hospital will open with 19 operating rooms, 60 perioperative rooms, an intraoperative MRI, a CT scanner and two nuclear medicine cameras.Learn more about Moffitt McKinley Hospital
Outpatient Center to be Built in Ruskin
Moffitt Cancer Center is expanding to south Hillsborough County to continue to make cancer care accessible to more patients. With more than 47,000 patients expected to die of cancer in Florida in 2023, Moffitt is planning a new outpatient center to expand access to lifesaving screening and prevention, world class care and novel clinical trials.
Moffitt will build a 75,000-square-foot facility called Moffitt Cancer Center at South Shore with construction starting this year and ending in late 2024. Services will include screening and diagnostics, advanced imaging, clinical lab services, blood draw, biopsies, medical oncology, radiation oncology, infusion, pharmacy and clinical trials.