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Golf event expected to raise $650,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston
By Sue Asci

More than 400 executives from 50 mutual fund and financial services companies are expected to raise $650,000 June 12 at the 14th annual Expect Miracles Golf Classic, sponsored by Mutual Funds Against Cancer. The sold-out tournament, which raises money for research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, will take place at the Pinehills and Waverly Oaks golf courses in Plymouth, Mass.

Donations to the Hingham, Mass.-based charity have increased 60% during the last three years, said co-founder and chairman Frank Strauss, a principal at Beacon Consulting Group in Boston.

Those are "not bad returns," Mr. Strauss said.

Through its golf tournament and other fundraising events throughout the year, Mutual Funds Against Cancer raised $570,000 last year, up from $360,000 in 2006, $225,000 in 2005 and $156,000 a year earlier.

'MAKING A STATEMENT'

"The organization has impact," said Ken Starr, vice president of interactive data pricing and reference data at Interactive Data Corp. of Bedford, Mass., and foundation sponsor for 2008 and 2009.

"It's the mutual fund industry making a statement to a challenge: cancer research. It is important to a lot of people," he said.

Interactive Data has made the group one of its preferred charities and is sponsoring the golf event to build awareness about the organization, and to generate donations.

"It's an important organization to the industry we work in," said Doug Miller, executive vice president at State Street Corp. of Boston. "We have an opportunity to be leaders and to attract firms to this organization."

"It's a tremendous cause," said Jeff Masom, managing director of institutional services at Legg Mason Inc. of Baltimore. "It's a great opportunity for us to partner up with some of our competitors and our clients to support this great cause."

A 20-year veteran of the financial services industry, Mr. Strauss was chief investment officer at The CGM Funds of Boston when he started the organization. His mother had been diagnosed with leukemia, and he "saw a lot of children in the hospital when I visited my mom. She won her battle against cancer. It all came together."

The first friends and family golf tournament attracted 40 players who raised $6,000. "The banquet was me flipping burgers on my back deck," Mr. Strauss said.

Mutual Funds Against Cancer, which receives donations from more than 100 financial firms, most of them mutual funds, has funded several research programs, said Nancy Rowe, director of the Jimmy Fund Golf Program at Dana-Farber. "The money was unrestricted and is used wherever it was needed," she said.

For the past two years, donations have been directed to Dana-Farber's Center for Applied Cancer Science, which researches some of the most challenging cancers, such as melanoma, multiple myeloma, and colon, pancreatic, brain and lung cancer, Mr. Strauss said.

"They are doing some very cutting-edge research in the field of the major cancers," Ms. Rowe said. "There are breakthroughs that will happen because of the MFAC support. It's going to have a huge impact."

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