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Couple pledges $750,000 matching gift to CAMC cancer center

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A $750,000 gift goes a long way toward funding Charleston Area Medical Center's new cancer center. One couple's gift could go a lot further.

The family of John Dickinson has pledged $750,000 toward the CAMC Foundation's fundraising campaign -- but only if the foundation can raise as much money by April 1. The family will match each gift and pledge made to the campaign through that date, up to $750,000. The result could be a  $1.5 million boon to efforts to fund the expansion.

"It's to inspire people and create a sense of urgency about the campaign," said John Ziebold, who is leading the fundraising campaign for the CAMC Foundation. "The family very much believes in the cause and they want our project to be successful."

The Dickinsons live locally and have long been supportive of CAMC's efforts to raise funds for the cancer center. This is their second donation to the campaign; they previously gave $500,000.

The new David Lee Cancer Center will be built on the old Watt Powell Park property in Kanawha City. It will cost $39 million in all, with the hospital footing the bill for $24 million, and the CAMC Foundation raising the remaining $15 million in pledges and outright gifts from the community. 

The foundation is in the home stretch - it has raised about $12.8 million so far, but still needs to raise a little more than $3 million to reach the $15 million fundraising goal.

To close the gap, they're doing everything from courting big money donors to mounting a grassroots campaign through social media and word of mouth. Next week they're selling T-shirts in the lobby at CAMC Memorial, with proceeds to benefit the campaign.

"We're going to have a very aggressive communications plan about it," said Gail Pitchford, president of the CAMC Foundation. "And it takes donors on all levels."

To donate to the campaign, call the foundation office at 304-388-9860 or visit camcfoundation.org. You can also mail a check to 3412 Staunton Ave. SE, Charleston, WV, 25304.

Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.maunz@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.


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