The City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute received the largest individual gift in the cancer centers 86-year history from Irwin Helford, chairman of Viking Office Products and vice chairman of Office Depot. The Los Angeles business icon and philanthropist has donated $36 million to kick off construction of a state-of-the-art, 144-bed facility to accommodate the needs of cancer patients into the next century.
City of Hope is extremely honored and grateful to be the recipient of this generous gift. This not only represents the most significant contribution in our history, but also and more importantly, serves as a critical contribution toward the future of cancer care, said Gil N. Schwartzberg, chairman and chief executive officer of City of Hope.
The new hospital, slated for construction next year, is being developed with an innovative universal patient-room concept, designed to accommodate virtually any patient-care setting, including intensive care, bone marrow transplantation, medical/surgical, and outpatient. The facility will support clinical research and will meet all recently developed state hospital earthquake requirements. The hospital will be dedicated as the Betty and Irwin Helford Clinical Research Hospital at its anticipated opening in 2004, according to City of Hope officials.
Mr. Helfords association with City of Hope began in 1983 and was highlighted in 1994, when he was honored by the Office Products Council, an industry support organization for City of Hope. Mr. Helford received The Spirit of Life Award for creating a unique worldwide catalog business, raising the level of service for customers in the United States, Europe, and Australia, and for his long-time support of City of Hope. He served on the Executive Council for two terms. Since its inception in 1983, the Office Products Council has raised more than $14 million for research and treatment at the national cancer center. Mr. Helfords prior personal gifts of more than $2 million were recognized in 1997 with the renaming of one of the existing research buildings.