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Funded Projects: 2013

The Foundation made ten grants in November 2013, totaling $55,000.00. Awards were given to:

  • The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center (formerly the Oklahoma University Cancer Institute), in the amount of $10,000.00. Oklahoma's only comprehensive academic cancer center, it is charged by the Oklahoma Legislature with taking "statewide leadership" in cancer prevention, research, clinical care and education and to seek "comprehensive cancer center" designation by the National Cancer Institute. Approximately 150 PhD-level scientists at the Center are working on cancer research programs, including several in gynecologic cancers.

    This is the GPK Foundation's fifth year providing support for the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center. In 2014, among other initiatives, the Center hopes to establish its Survivorship & Supportive Care Program, a clinic-based program to provide a wide array of support to patients who demonstrate high physical, emotional or financial stress.

  • Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), in the amount of $8,000.00. MSF is an international medical humanitarian organization that assists people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. MSF’s mission is to provide medical relief to the victims of war, disease, and natural or man-made disaster, without regard to race, religion, or political affiliation. MSF does not take sides in armed conflicts, provides assistance on the basis of need alone, and advocates for independent access to victims of conflict and other disasters.

    MSF is working on a number of fronts to develop sustainable models to interrupt the cycle of malnutrition and disease in parts of Africa and Asia. MSF is expanding access to vaccinations and other preventative methods proven to reduce child mortality. In 2014, MSF medical teams will deliver free outpatient care to over eight million people and will provide hospital-based care to hundreds of thousands of people at Ministry of Health or MSF-run hospitals. MSF will increase its emergency response and surgical capacity; develop and implement a comprehensive package of care aimed at preventing disease in young children; and increase investment in infectious disease treatment, like HIV/AIDS and TB.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, in the amount of $7,000.00. The ACLU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public interest organization devoted to protecting the basic civil liberties of everyone in the United States. Since its founding in 1920, the ACLU has been at the forefront of virtually every battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. The ACLU’s work falls into four Centers—the Centers for Democracy, Equality, Justice, and Liberty. They have almost 100 full-time litigators on the national staff, and over 160 more at ACLU affiliates, located in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

    ACLU initiatives have been key to generating momentum toward ending over-incarceration. They are litigating to preserve drug law reforms achieved around the country. With regard to over-policing, they are initiating selective enforcement campaigns in New Jersey, Maryland, and possibly Minnesota to confront wasteful and harmful police practices in communities of color. They are exploring new indigent defense litigation in Idaho and Montana. They are launching a major juvenile justice reform initiative; initial efforts will be in West Virginia, South Carolina, and Nevada.

  • Engineers Without Borders - USA, in the amount of $6,000.00. EWB-USA is a nonprofit humanitarian organization established to support community-driven development programs worldwide through partnerships that design and implement sustainable engineering projects. EWB-USA members, comprised of professional and student engineers or other disciplines, work with local communities and NGOs in over 46 developing countries around the world on projects such as water, renewable energy, sanitation and more. EWB-USA believes that all people should have access to clean water, adequate sanitation, sustainable, low-cost energy sources, and community structures like schools, clinics and bridges. It brings together students, academia, and professional practice to focus on a need in the community, rather than the need of a student, of a university, or of a client.

    In 2014, EWB-USA's education initiatives will deliver informational and educational content for engineers, based on firsthand experiences from the field through the launch of two educational modules. They will also launch an improved myEWB-USA website, currently EWB-USA's primary member education tool. The revamped members-only site will equip EWB-USA's 13,800 members with the resources needed to carry out successful projects as well as opportunities to connect with other members.

  • Cure Alzheimer's Fund, in the amount of $5,000.00. Cure Alzheimer's Fund was founded to support breakthrough research on the origins and progression of Alzheimer's Disease to accelerate faster and more effective therapy development. They use a venture capital model to run the non-profit, but take no financial interest in the intellectual property of the research. The Fund identifies leading Alzheimer’s researchers in the US and abroad; asks them to submit their most promising, but higher risk projects which typically do not get funding from traditional sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) because of the risk; funds the best proposals with a minimum of bureaucracy; and insists that they collaborate with each other through regularly scheduled meetings and phone calls. The founders pay 100 percent of the overhead, so any donor knows that 100 cents on the dollar of their donation goes to research. As of June 1, 2013, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund had invested over $21 million in 77 projects from 45 laboratories in the US and abroad.

  • Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, in the amount of $5,000.00. Families of SMA is dedicated to creating a treatment and cure, by funding and advancing a comprehensive research program; supporting SMA families through networking, information and services; improving care for all SMA patients; educating health professionals and the public about SMA; enlisting government support for SMA; and embracing all touched by SMA in a caring community. Their vision is a world where Spinal Muscular Atrophy is treatable and curable.

    Families of SMA's 2013/2014 funding awards will be allocated into three distinct research areas: 1. Basic Research to understand the disease and provide seed ideas for drug development programs. 2. Drug Discovery to develop new SMA therapies. 3. Clinical Research to provide the means to test new drugs effectively and to standardize the quality of care given to SMA patients.

  • National Public Radio, in the amount of $5,000.00. A thriving media organization at the forefront of digital innovation, NPR creates and distributes award-winning news, information and music programming to a network of 997 independent stations. NPR provides balanced, in-depth coverage of local, domestic and international news—as well as a diverse stream of cultural programming—to a large and diverse audience. Each week, NPR member stations are heard by nearly 35 million listeners, while nearly 27 million people tune in to at least one NPR program—the largest influential audience in public media. now reaches more than 20 million unique monthly visitors—a 12% increase in traffic over the past year. Across all digital platforms, NPR draws more than 22 million monthly visitors.

  • St. Croix Environmental Association (SEA), in the amount of $5,000.00. Formed as a grassroots organization in 1986, SEA creates innovative environmental education programs for children and adults, sponsoring engaging activities and remaining vigilant in seeking compliance with local and federal environmental regulations. SEA's mission is 'To promote conservation of environmental resources, provide education, and advocate for environmentally responsible actions.' These goals are met through independent initiatives and partnerships with local and federal agencies.

    SEA's Coral Conservation Corps (CCC) Program is a semester long after-school program. The CCC Program provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, and conservation issues of St. Croix’s coral reefs through activities such as computer simulations, lab experiments, Internet information retrieval, guest speakers, and field trips. SEA provides a comprehensive Program Guide, a Curriculum Guide, and a materials kit to each program leader. The CCC curriculum is composed of five learning units: Introduction to Coral Reefs, Marine Debris, Marine Life Decline, Climate Change, and Water Pollution. Field trips to marine and near-shore locations are a critical component of the program.

  • Trees for Houston, in the amount of $3,000.00. Trees For Houston's mission is to plant, protect and promote trees throughout the Houston region. From humble beginnings in 1983, Trees For Houston has methodically expanded its reach, which now includes growing, planting, and maintaining tens of thousands of desirable, high quality trees annually. In the past 30 years they have planted nearly half a million trees in schools, parks and along streets and esplanades throughout the Houston region.

    Trees For Houston hopes to plant 20,000 trees during the 2013-2014 planting season. In addition, they will plant a minimum of 20 schools through their Trees For Schools program. They will also provide trees for the Bayou Greenways Initiative and plan to continue to develop their Victoria Drive tree nursery into an education and propagation center. With all of their projects, they account for the watering and maintenance of the trees for two years to ensure they have a strong start.

  • The Central Asia Institute, in the amount of $1,000.00. CAI empowers communities of Central Asia through literacy and education, especially for girls, promotes peace through education, and conveys the importance of these activities globally. CAI has two purposes: to establish and support education in remote mountain communities of Central Asia, and to educate the public about the importance of these educational activities. This dual mission and that of its co-founder, Greg Mortensen, focuses on educational and community building projects in remote mountain regions of Central Asia, and educates the American and international public about the need to expand educational opportunities in these complex regions as a way to promote peace. More specifically, CAI’s programs include school building, scholarships, teacher support, public health, women’s vocational centers, and global outreach.