Esman Foundation Pledges Support to Sylvester

The Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation has made a pledge of $450,000 to support UHealth’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Miller School.

The first of five annual payments of $90,000 was received on November 30, 2012, in the lobby of the cancer center by Joan Scheiner, Chair of the Sylvester Board of Governors. Speaking on behalf of the Foundation, Executive Director Murray Levin said, “Our mission is to help in any way we can.”

Mrs. Scheiner, a cancer survivor, thanked Levin for the pledge, saying, “It will make a difference in discovering new therapies to ease the burden of cancer for patients not only in South Florida, but across our region.”

The Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation was created by Theresa Esman in 2008 after Saul, her husband of 50 years, passed away. The couple made South Florida their home many years earlier when Saul sold his sporting goods business in Pittsburgh. That’s when the Esmans began their “legacy” of charitable giving to fight diseases. The Foundation donates to 10 charitable organizations, funding research in Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and epilepsy, among others.

This new gift is part of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami and will bring The Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation’s support to more than $700,000.

“We are humbled by the support of the Esman Foundation,” said Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., Director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Theresa Esman’s dedication to finding answers through research is matched by the dedication of our physicians and scientists. We expect this gift will springboard new discoveries.”

Levin, a close personal friend of the Esmans who closely follows each of the organizations, says they wanted to support the cancer center after seeing the work being done locally and at the state level. “The more we got involved,” he said, “we knew Sylvester was one of the premier organizations in cancer research.” He explained that most of the gifts are long term in order to have a lasting impact. “In many cases, we make a pledge that can be used to get a matching grant. There’s an offshoot that rubs off.”

He said that while the Foundation funds the research, Sylvester physicians and scientists “are in the trenches. You make it work. Without the research, nothing would happen.”

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