Inova’s Record-Shattering $26 Million Dinner

by John Arundel

The fundraiser was attended by George W. Bush and Karl Rove. 

Stuart, Dwight, Martha and Spencer Schar

President George W. Bush and former White House advisor Karl Rove reunited to help raise $26 million for the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, setting a new record for a single-event non-profit fundraiser in the Washington area.

President Bush has made the fight against cancer one of the priorities of his post-presidency, and the donations help support a new highly personalized cancer research and treatment center in Falls Church, linking cutting-edge research to clinical treatment to give patients access to advances in genomic and precision medicine.

“For the first time in history, we can say with some confidence that the war on cancer is winnable,” Bush said.

“Shortening the time, accelerating discoveries between research and treatment will help us get there.

The dinner was held for 225 guests on the new 117-acre medical campus that was once the regional headquarters of Exxon/Mobil, and was chaired by NVR, Inc. President and CEO Paul Saville and his wife Linda. Paul Saville expressed his gratitude to the night’s special guests and the generous donors.

“This was an amazing display of what is possible when a community comes together to support a worthwhile endeavor,” Saville said.

“The work of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute will give new hope to cancer patients throughout the Washington area and beyond. We are grateful to the community leaders whose generous philanthropic support has not only made this evening one for the history books, but one that will enable the Schar to continue its groundbreaking work.”

In 2015, NVR’s founder Dwight Schar and his wife Martha made a $50 million gift to Inova, establishing the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. “When we made our gift three years ago, Martha and I were excited by Inova’s game-changing efforts in applying genomic sciences in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer,” Schar said. “As Inova prepares to open the Inova Schar Cancer Institute next year, we are even more impressed by what our investment has enabled Inova to accomplish. We’re transforming Northern Virginia into a personalized cancer care destination for the global medical community.”

The Inova Schar Cancer Institute takes a team approach to treating cancer, giving patients direct access to the latest scientific advances, as well as therapeutic programs, psychologists and other specialists, said Dr. Donald “Skip” Trump, MD, CEO of Inova Schar Cancer Institute.

Suzanne and William Moran and Milton Peterson

“The Schar’s renowned clinicians, researchers and emotional support experts work together to treat the whole patient, not just the disease,” Dr. Trump said. “The Inova Schar Cancer Institute is transforming the traditional delivery of cancer care…It is changing the way cancer research, clinical treatments and support services interact, putting the patient at the epicenter of everything.”

The funds raised at this dinner will enable the Schar Institute to continue to recruit nationally-recognized clinician scientists, conduct advanced research and drug discovery, acquire state-of-the-art technologies, and expand emotional and community outreach initiatives, according to Dr. Trump.

The institute will move into a new state-of-the-art facility on the campus of the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Falls Church, Virginia, in April 2019.

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