Gala 2018

A golden celebration

Annual gala establishes patient care endowment

Gala 2018

Pictured left to right are Mary Henrich and UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, gala honorees Lowry and Peggy Mays, and Ruben Mesa, M.D., FACP, director of the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, and his wife, Kris Mesa.

A record attendance of nearly 1,800 guests helped raise more than $500,000 at the annual President’s Gala to establish the Peggy and Lowry Mays Patient Care Endowment. 

The endowment supports the Patient Supportive Care Program at the Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The gala honored philanthropists Peggy and Lowry Mays and also marked the 50th anniversary of the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine and its continued service to South Texas.

“We are so grateful to Peggy and Lowry and all they have done for our cancer center through the years,” said UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. 

The Patient Supportive Care Program provides critical services for cancer patients with the greatest financial needs. The endowment also will fund wellness and survivorship programs that help patients lead healthier lives after they complete treatment, Dr. Henrich said. 

“This program is vital to caring for our patients in the compassionate way we would want to be treated ourselves,” he said. “They embody our mission to provide the very best in care to patients close to home.”

Peggy and Lowry Mays and their family have been key supporters of the cancer center since its early years. Peggy Mays, a former member of the Board of Governors of the cancer center, founded its annual fund program called the Cabinet in 1996. The Cabinet has raised nearly $8 million over the program’s 23-year history. Cabinet gifts provide essential support for innovative cancer research, state-of-the-art equipment, and critical cancer education and patient care programs.

Kathryn Mays Johnson, daughter of Peggy and Lowry Mays, is president of the Mays Family Foundation. She is a member of the Mays Cancer Center’s Board of Governors and is a past president of the SA Cancer Council. Over the past 35 years, the council has supported the cancer center through fundraising, volunteer services, community outreach and education, and patient assistance. The SA Cancer Council has raised more than $5 million.

In February 2018, the Mays Family Foundation increased its legacy gift to the cancer center to $30 million. The contribution provided a substantial endowment to perpetually support the director of the Mays Cancer Center and establish up to 10 new permanent distinguished endowed chairs for the recruitment and retention of key faculty members. The gift also established the Mays Cancer Center Excellence Endowment to support top priorities for future success and long-term sustainability.

“My parents, brother and I have all been touched by cancer,” said Johnson. “Because we know what it’s like to hear the difficult words, ‘You have cancer,’ and have appreciated the excellent care we have received here at the Mays Cancer Center and at MD Anderson, we feel compelled to give back. 

“We are pleased that our investments are developing our cancer center’s affiliation with MD Anderson and have been impressed with the rapid progress of this relationship that will benefit cancer patients in our region.”

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