HACKENSACK, N.J., Sept. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation and New York Football Giants are proud to announce the launch of a new fundraising campaign, Eli's Challenge, as part of its successful Tackle Kids Cancer initiative. Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning has pledged to match grassroots donations to Tackle Kids Cancer, dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000.
The announcement coincides with Tackle Kids Cancer's first anniversary. In just one year, it has raised more than $2.5 million for programs and services at the Children's Cancer Institute, part of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital at HackensackUMC, a member of Hackensack Meridian Health. The successful campaign has motivated people to get involved, highlighted by various community fundraising efforts hosted by scout troops, school and youth teams, police departments, and other community groups. One of these efforts was coordinated by Becca, a "Most Valiant Patient." After her cancer diagnosis, her scout troop rallied to raise more than $300 for Tackle Kids Cancer through bake sales and penny collections.
Manning, who has volunteered his time to support the cause, was inspired through these efforts, and decided to rally people to the cause with his matching gift. "It is truly inspiring to see how many community groups have held bake sales, car washes and other fundraisers for this cause, and I want to challenge more of them to join our team."
By visiting TackleKidsCancer.org/Eli, teams can be formed and begin fundraising right away. Manning will match the funds raised by these community groups.
"We value our relationship with HackensackUMC and are honored to be part of Tackle Kids Cancer. The work that is done by the Children's Cancer Institute and those who have contributed to Tackle Kids Cancer has served as an inspiration to Eli and all of us. We are proud of Eli's work in our community and his selfless support of the Children's Cancer Institute," said Allison Stangeby, vice president of Community and Corporate Relations.
The Children's Cancer Institute at HackensackUMC consists of dedicated clinicians and researchers specializing in pediatric cancer. With more than 100 active oncology and transplant clinical trials currently open, it is leading the charge to cure childhood cancer. "It is estimated that roughly 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. While extremely rare, pediatric cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children in the U.S.," said Stephen Percy, M.D., interim chairman, Department of Pediatrics, Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital. "Every dollar received through the Tackle Kids Cancer campaign will support our most important programs and research."
"The HackensackUMC Foundation is proud of the longstanding partnership we share with the New York Giants and its players," said Jon M. Fitzgerald, president, Foundation; and chief development officer of Hackensack Meridian Health. "Eli Manning's commitment to Tackle Kids Cancer has extended far beyond what we had hoped for. Not only has he volunteered to be the face of our campaign, but he has made numerous visits with the children at our Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital. He is truly a champion of the cause, and we could not have raised $2.5 million in our first year without the help of Eli and the New York Giants."
For more information on partnering with HackensackUMC and the New York Giants, please visit www.TackleKidsCancer.org.
About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county's first hospital, it is a member of Hackensack Meridian Health, one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report's 2016-17 Best Hospital rankings - maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. HackensackUMC is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 24 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women's and Children's Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women's Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide's list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Barclays PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.
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SOURCE Hackensack University Medical Center