In the news...

Buffalo Sabres star Alex Tuch visits

8/2022  Buffalo Sabres forward and Syracuse native Alex Tuch presented a check for $120,000 to the Upstate Golisano Center for Special Needs Aug. 19 during a visit to the center, which located on the third floor of the Madison Irving Medical Center.

Tuch served as honorary co-chair of the Upstate Foundation’s campaign for the Golisano Center for Special Needs, which has raised more than $6.5 million.

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Upstate's She Matters and You Matter programs awarded grant from medical technology firm

7/2022  “With support of these two important initiatives, we look forward to building a long-term relationship with Hologic, a new funding partner of the Upstate Foundation,” said Terry Toscano Shenfeld, director of foundation relations at the Upstate Foundation. 
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Upstate Foundation campaign for Golisano Center for Special Needs surpasses $6.5 million

6/2022  The Upstate Foundation has raised more than $6.5 million to benefit the Golisano Center for Special Needs.The campaign kicked off in January 2020. Paychex founder and philanthropist Tom Golisano jumpstarted the campaign with a $3 million gift to establish the center in Fall 2019.And the Central New York community has responded. Nearly 300 donors, comprising community members, corporations, other foundations and Upstate faculty and staff were among the contributors.
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Miller Pediatric & Adolescent Unit established at Children’s Hospital with estate gift

6/2022  A $600,000 gift from the estate of Marilyn C. Miller, of Syracuse, has named the pediatric and adolescent unit in Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in her memory, as well as that of her parents. The Frieda, Morris and Marilyn Miller Pediatric & Adolescent Unit is located on the twelfth floor of hospital, and is a fitting tribute to a woman who devoted her entire career to children as a teacher in the Syracuse City School District. “Marilyn was proud to guide and teach many, many students through the years as a teacher,” noted Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate Medical University. “She was equally dedicated to her parents, caring for them in their senior years, just as they had cared for her when she was a child. I wish she was here today to see the legacy she leaves behind.”
Pezzi is pictured with Gregory Conners, MD, executive director of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, near the unit’s new signage.

Upstate Foundation receives $150,000 grant from KeyBank Foundation for new community initiative

1/2022  The Upstate Foundation received a $150,000 seed grant from KeyBank Foundation to fund an educational pipeline and employment advancement programs that will expose participants to desirable health care careers and offer a steady stream of entry-level positions at Upstate, which could subsequently provide further career and educational opportunities to participants. The announcement was made by Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate Medical University. Read full story…



The Upstate Foundation receives $126,000 donation from Paige’s Butterfly Run

12/2021  “Paige’s Butterfly Run has been there for patients and their families for the last 25 years,” said Toni Gary of the Upstate Foundation. “We cannot thank Paige’s Butterfly Run enough and all those who support this important organization in our community for their generous gifts.” Read full story…



Upstate Foundation receives $25,000 grant from AstraZeneca for Upstate Cancer Center’s She Matters program

12/2021  Selected as one of just 30 recipients from a field of 1400 applicants nationally, the Upstate Foundation was awarded a $25,000 grant from AstraZeneca’s inaugural ACT on Health Equity: Community Solutions Challenge for the Upstate Cancer Center’s She Matters program. “It’s exciting to receive this funding from AstraZeneca,” said Eileen Pezzi, Upstate vice president for development. “To be selected from such a large field of applicants is a testament to the importance of the work Upstate carries out every day in our community.” Read full story…

Upstate Foundation establishes $1.5 million endowed professorship with proceeds from Paige’s Butterfly Run

10/2021  In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the first Paige’s Butterfly Run, a $1.5 million endowed professorship was established at the Upstate Foundation primarily with event proceeds, and Melanie Comito, MD, was appointed the Paige Yeomans Arnold Endowed Professor in Pediatric Oncology. The announcement was made by Gregory Conners, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Upstate Medical University, and Upstate vice president for development Eileen Pezzi. Read full story…


Upstate Foundation awards $50,000 for brain cancer research

09/2021  The Upstate Foundation has invested in brain cancer research at Upstate Medical University with an award of $50,000 to a project led by Dr. Mariano Viapiano, associate professor of neuroscience and neurosurgery and director of the Brain Tumor Laboratory and Biorepository. The award is the result of a competitive application and evaluation process overseen by Dr. David Amberg, vice president for research at Upstate. Read full story…


Power of Us – Employee Giving Program

08/2021  The Upstate Foundation’s annual Power of Us employee giving program recently concluded with some notable statistics: a 54 percent increase in the number of donations received; a 57 percent increase in new donors; and a 40 percent increase in repeat donors. The top fund to which employees contributed – both in terms of money raised and number of donors – was the Golisano Center for Special Needs campaign. The Upstate Foundation would like to thank all who participated in Power of Us this year, especially given the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.

Pictured: 8-month-old Mila is being treated at the Golisano Center for Special Needs for a severe feeding disorder.

Syracuse Catholic schools raise more than $27,000 for Golisano Center for Special Needs

06/2021 The Diocese of Syracuse Catholic Schools presented a check for $27,686 today to the Upstate Foundation to benefit the Golisano Center for Special Needs. The money was raised in May as each school held a walkathon to raise the fund. Julie Galler Simms of the Upstate Foundation thanked the Catholic schools for their impressive showing. “This is about students helping students, families helping families.” Read full story…

The Upstate Foundation announces the new Michael E. Connolly Endowed Professorship in Lung Cancer Research

06/2021   Michael Connolly was a husband and father, volunteer coach and a star Binghamton North High School football and baseball player. During his 22-month battle with lung cancer, Michael was treated at Upstate University Hospital and responded well to a powerful drug he was receiving as part of a clinical trial. But as in nearly all cases of advanced lung cancer, the disease prevailed. He lost his battle in 2002.  Read full story…

Upstate Foundation supports professional development of Upstate nurses

04/2021   The Upstate Foundation announced it has supported advancement of Upstate nurses by funding 45 memberships in various nursing associations. Under the advisement of Nancy Page, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer at Upstate University Hospital, and with help from Nicole Harf, BSN, RN, professional development and nursing excellence coordinator, the Nursing Association Memberships Fund (#28900) was created to focus on professional development of nursing staff across the Upstate Medical University system.

“Supporting all aspects of education at Upstate, and doing so across all of our valued professions, is a key part of our mission at the Upstate Foundation,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate Medical University. “We’re pleased to provide these dollars to further the careers, education and advancement of our hardworking nurses through memberships in the associations important to them.”

Page expanded on the role and value of such associations to Upstate nurses, saying “Nursing associations, like all professional associations, offer opportunities for continued education, training, sharing of best practices, networking with peers and recognition of achievement.” She added that the Foundation-funded memberships may help achieve certification requirements needed to maintain Upstate’s Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. “For these reasons, and on behalf of all of the nurses here at Upstate, I thank the Upstate Foundation for this support and its inherent recognition of the professionalism of our nursing staff.”

Photo: Recipients of nursing association memberships funded by the Upstate Foundation’s newly established Nursing Association Memberships Fund express their appreciation for this support.

Upstate Foundation receives Impact Award from Central New York Business Journal

03/2021  “We are honored to be recognized for our impact in the community. It has never been more clear than over the past year how important philanthropy is for all of us in our daily lives, whether as a donor or a beneficiary of charitable giving,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate Medical University and executive director of the Upstate Foundation. Read more… 

Upstate Foundation offers donor-advised funds in response to campus need

01/2021   The Upstate Foundation is pleased to offer donors a new giving vehicle, donor-advised funds. A donor-advised fund is simply that: a fund in which the donor may advise the Foundation on how the money is to be disbursed. With donor-advised funds, gifts may be designated to Upstate, but may support other not-for-profit organizations as well.

Dr. Corona noted that opening a donor-advised fund at the Upstate Foundation “just makes sense.” With tax benefits and other advantages, “it’s a great vehicle for giving. The Upstate Foundation makes the whole process painless. They do incredible work.”  Click here for more information on donor-advised funds.


Upstate Foundation announces campaign leadership for Golisano Center for Special Needs

09/2020   Marking the one-year anniversary of Tom Golisano’s $3 million gift supporting the new Golisano Center for Special Needs, the Upstate Foundation announced the campaign leadership committee that will help raise an additional $3 million to match Golisano’s generosity. The campaign co-chairs are high-profile community members including Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim and his wife Juli, NewsChannel 9 anchor Christie Casciano, and NHL star and Baldwinsville native Alex Tuch.  Read more…


Upstate Foundation awards $50,000 for pediatric cancer research

09/2020   “We are pleased to help fund these projects,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate. “This generous and kind donor had an abiding interest in supporting both pediatric and adult oncology research. We’re proud to fulfill her wish and honor her memory in this way.”   

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Upstate Foundation’s Towsley Pro-Am raises record-breaking $145,000

08/2020   Despite a pandemic and a hurricane, the Upstate Foundation’s 2020 Towsley Pro-Am raised a record-breaking $145,000. Proceeds will support a new dialysis unit at Upstate Community Hospital and the new Golisano Center for Special Needs, which will provide services and support for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. 

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Upstate Open raises more than $125,000 for Upstate initiatives

7/24/2020  Jim Murray, second from left, scored a hole-in-one at the 2020 Upstate Open. Murray, of tech company E-Plus, is joined from left by his E-Plus colleague Gary Gray, along with Kelly Hartman and Mark Zeman of Upstate’s IMT Department. The event raised $125,000 for Upstate projects.

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More than 200 iPads installed around campus make virtual visitations possible

7/10/2020  “It has been one of the most successful COVID-related funds,” said Eileen Pezzi, MPA, Upstate’s vice president for development and executive director of the Upstate Foundation. “Everyone wanted to help ensure that patients and families could remain connected, especially at a time of great anxiety and uncertainty. We’re grateful to Cisco for its lead gift and all those who gave generously on behalf of our patients and families.”

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Radiothon 2020 - another record-breaking year, thank you!

3/1/2020  The Upstate Foundation thanks the entire community for another record-breaking year for Radiothon for Kids. Nearly $255,000 was raised at last week’s event! Year after year, Radiothon succeeds due to the tremendous support of sponsors, businesses, organizations, individuals and families, and numerous Upstate employees.

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Medicine lock boxes

3/1/2020  The Upstate Foundation is pleased to have provided funding to the Upstate New York Poison Center for free prescription lock boxes for some patients and families.

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Paige’s Butterfly Run end of year donation

12/31/2019  The Upstate Foundation accepted a donation from Paige's Butterfly Run for $210,000! Since 1997, Paige’s Butterfly Run has raised more than $3.5 million dollars from the local community in support of local pediatric patients and families at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital and the Upstate Golisano Center for Children's Cancer & Blood Disorders. This money will also support pediatric cancer research initiatives right here in the heart of Central New York.

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Emeritus Faculty Brunch

As part of the Upstate Foundation’s initiative to engage emeritus faculty members, a brunch was held recently to give retirees the opportunity to reconnect with longtime friends and colleagues, and listen to remarks by Dr. Mantosh Dewan, interim president of Upstate Medical University. The 19 emeriti in attendance accounted for a total of 719 years of service to Upstate, three of whom worked for more than 50 years before retiring. One former faculty member turned 97 shortly after the event. Eleven different departments were represented.


Bankers Healthcare Group Donates $25,000 

The Upstate Foundation received a $25,000 gift from Bankers Healthcare Group, a leading provider of financial solutions for healthcare professionals, to benefit families in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. 
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Upstate Foundation Receives Gift of $3 Million from Tom Golisano to Establish Center for Special Needs

9/27/2019  The announcement came during the 10th birthday celebration for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, for which Golisano gave the naming gift of $6 million.
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Honoring Tim Green

In recognition of Tim Green’s longtime support to Upstate Medical University, the Upstate Foundation has established the Tim Green Endowment to Defeat ALS dedicated to patient care, education, and research of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The former Syracuse University and NFL football star, lawyer and nationally renowned author publicly disclosed his ALS diagnosis late last year.
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Upstate Open raises record-breaking $222,000

7/21/2019  Gathering in front of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital to mark a record-breaking year for the Upstate Open are, from left, Stuart Wright, CFO of Upstate University Hospital, and Upstate Open committee chair; Dan Gardner, CEO of event sponsor Rich & Gardner Construction Co.; Paul Mello, president and CEO of Solvay Bank (Upstate Open Presenting Sponsor); and Toni Gary, director of community relations and development for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and Upstate Open tournamentdirector. Gardner was also celebrating his hole-in-one shot on hole #16.
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Southern Tier support for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital

Through its longtime partnership with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH), the Upstate Foundation is extending its fundraising efforts for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital into the eastern portion of New York’s Southern Tier.

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Reunited through gift

The Upstate Foundation reunited an alum of Eagle Hill Middle School in Manlius with his former teacher and her current students, who donated $100 to benefit sick children at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Brendan Dunuwila, second from right, established The Hornet Fund in 2014 to assist pediatric patients and their families who are struggling with unexpected expenses associated with their hospitalization. 

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Towsley Pro-Am

6/3/1029  The Upstate Foundation’s 2019 Towsley Pro-Am held on June 10 at Shenendoah, Turning Stone Resort & Casino, celebrated a record-breaking year raising more than $143,000. Tournament proceeds will benefit the Wellspring Breast Care Center at Upstate University Hospital Community campus and a new Volunteer Enrichment Fund. The Bond, Schoeneck & King team (pictured) was pleased with their low round score earned in the morning flight.


Upstate Foundation celebrates National Doctor’s Day

3/3/2019  As part of its Grateful Patient and Family Program, the Upstate Foundation is celebrating its eighth National Doctors’ Day March 30 by inviting patients at Upstate University Hospital to pay tribute to their doctors…

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Record breaking 2 days – 16th annual Radiothon for Kids

3/1/2019  Thank you to the entire community for this record breaking year for Radiothon for Kids! The celebration for the 10th Anniversary of Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital has been kicked off with tremendous support from sponsors, businesses, organizations, individuals and many Upstate staff. 



Upstate Foundation hosts 16th annual Radiothon for Kids

The Upstate Foundation is partnering with iHeart Media and CNY Central for this annual event, which supports a wide variety of funds and programs that directly impact Upstate’s pediatric services and patients. “Radiothon is a wonderful opportunity for the community to learn more about the special care Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital provides children across the region,” said Toni Gary of the Upstate Foundation. 

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Paige’s Butterfly Run presents $215,000 donation for pediatric cancer care, research at Upstate

“This gift from Paige’s Butterfly Run directly supports patients and families at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital and Upstate Cancer Center with various unmet needs, and also helps to provide critical programs like Child Life,” said Toni Gary, director of Community Relations and Development at The Upstate Foundation/Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.

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The Upstate Foundation welcomes Danielle LaTour

The Upstate Foundation has hired Danielle LaTour as director of retail development to work with retail partners, and serve as a liaison for collegiate and community events supporting Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. Danielle has over eight years of experience in the nonprofit sector working with several Central New York organizations in various areas of development including special events, volunteer recruitment and management, corporate relations, marketing, annual campaigns, and community/youth engagement. Danielle is looking forward to bringing her talents to her new role “For the Kids.”



Upstate fights student hunger with new program, new fund

“We are distressed to learn of this need on our campus and commend this new initiative to help protect and support our students who experience hunger or food insecurity,” said Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate.

Julie R. White, PhD, dean of student affairs, and Danielle Katz, MD, associate dean for graduate medical education, joined forces to develop a plan to combat hunger on the Upstate campus. They enlisted the Upstate Foundation, and together they raised funds from hospital clinical departments, faculty, staff and the umbrella organization of the faculty practice plan, UUMAS.

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Community Campus unveils $9.2 million renovation of Family Birth Center

The Upstate Foundation's Brighter Beginnings campaign rasied $1 million from our community partners, Upstate faculty, and staff to fund state-of-the art equipment, care and comfort items for moms and babies, and new parent education.

With renovations now complete, the Upstate Family Birth Center at the Community Campus will begin housing mothers and babies throughout the entire 21-bed unit starting in January.



Upstate partners with Mercy Flight Central to deliver in-flight care to critically ill or injured kids

The Upstate Foundation is proud to have provided financial support to the flight team, including purchase of appropriate in-flight suits, uniforms and equipment. 

The Upstate Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team and Mercy Flight Central are partnering to transport young patients from all over the region to Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, while delivering specialized pediatric care in transit. 



Upstate introduces new technology in the fight against liver cancer

Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate, noted, “The Upstate Foundation is proud to fund this state-of-the-art equipment that offers better treatment options for many of our patients.” Microwave ablation is an option for cancers in organs that contain a high percentage of water, such as the liver and kidneys. It can also be used on bone lesions.



Nappi gift to address growing brain health issues 

At a time when our region is confronting growing medical challenges facing an aging population, a $8-million dollar gift from Sam and Carol Nappi of Jamesville to the Upstate Foundation will support the creation of an eight-floor, 360,000 square foot health and wellness complex at Upstate Medical University.