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Upstate Foundation receives Impact Award from Central New York Business Journal

03/2021  At a virtual event on March 24, the Upstate Foundation received the Impact Award from the Central New York Business Journal for its Covid-19 relief efforts. The award recognizes creation or implementation of a program that touched the lives of others in a meaningful way and had a direct impact on the community.

The Impact Award was one of several categories that was part of the Business Journal’s 2021 Nonprofit Awards. The Upstate Foundation was selected from among many other not-for-profit organizations because of all that was accomplished during the pandemic. 

Specifically, the Foundation raised $1 million in eight months for Covid relief.

“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.

At the beginning of the outbreak, the Upstate Foundation established three funds to focus support where it was needed most. The Foundation matched the first $10,000 donated to the Support of Upstate Employees Fund, Virtual Visitation Fund for Upstate Patients, and Student Retention Emergency Fund.

In addition, the community responded with in-kind gifts of face masks, hand sanitizer, sandwiches, comfort kits, gift cards and much more. Covid-related gifts-in-kind totaled nearly $360,000 in 2020.

The Foundation re-imagined its annual fall Gala as the Upstate Strong Covid Relief Benefit Concert, a sponsor-supported streamed benefit concert featuring Grammy winner Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. The event was offered free to the public and honored Upstate’s front-line workers, health care providers and researchers, as well as the Central New York community for its support throughout the crisis. The event raised $246,500, with proceeds benefiting a Covid-19 relief fund to help with needs that continue to result from the pandemic. Over 6,000 people tuned in on desktops and mobile devices from five countries, across four continents and in 31 states. 

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.

Donor-advised funds offer a number of benefits to the donor including tax advantages and estate-planning opportunities, as well as the ability to involve family heirs and help teach them the value of philanthropy.

Donor-advised funds can be established at the Upstate Foundation for a minimum of $5,000 or $10,000. A donor-advised fund established for $5,000 functions similarly to the Foundation’s restricted funds in that the principal is guaranteed, not invested, and no administrative fee is charged. The donor advises the Foundation how money is to be spent.

A donor-advised fund that is established for a minimum of $10,000 can be likened to an investment account dedicated solely to a donor’s charitable giving. The principal is invested through the Foundation, generating investment returns. Both the principal and investment returns are available for spending (giving to charities) based on the donor’s areas of interest. Although this type of donor-advised fund is not a lifelong fund like an endowment, a donor may appoint a successor to continue his or her legacy of giving.

“Individual donor-advised funds are the fastest-growing vehicle in philanthropy,” noted Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate Medical University. “When several faculty members approached us about offering them here, we knew we had to respond to meet this need.”

“Philanthropy plays an important role at Upstate,” she continued. “It has never been more clear than this year.”

In the midst of the pandemic, and playing a key leadership role throughout the crisis, Upstate University Hospital CEO Robert Corona still found time for personal philanthropy. His devotion to Upstate and the Central New York community were clearly demonstrated when he opened a donor-advised fund at the Upstate Foundation this spring.

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.”

He plans to focus his giving through the donor-advised fund on cancer research and organizations that support the sustainability of our natural resources, which includes humane treatment of farm animals, compassionate treatment of all animals and research into plant-based diets. 

For more information on donor-advised funds at the Upstate Foundation, contact Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate, at 315-464-7853 or click here.


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.