News & Publications

CRI Young Philanthropists Council Chair Named "20 Under 40" Top Young Philanthropists

March 22, 2013 | Brian Brewer

The New York Observer is a great weekly newspaper providing all the latest on what's happening in and around New York City. As a nonprofit organization based in NYC, it's important that we stay on top of the goings-on here. It's one way for us to learn about the people—the celebrities, business leaders, politicians—who have potential to make significant gifts to the Cancer Research Institute.

As director of marketing and communications, a part of my job involves reading through a lot of different media sources. I'm always on the lookout for stories about cancer treatment breakthroughs—have you noticed how many there've been about cancer immunotherapy lately, by the way? Take this article that ran in the New York Times yesterday about a very promising new treatment approach that brings the best of immunology and genetic engineering together to create potentially life-saving new cancer therapies (we funded the work of Dr. Michel Sadelain, one of the lead scientists on this project). Or this cover story from Time magazine about the Dream Team model of cancer research, a model we fund in partnership with Stand Up To Cancer to create new cancer immunotherapies.

So there I am, looking for cancer stories, and I come across Observer Philanthropy, a special supplement devoted to philanthropy in New York City. This issue happened to include the first annual list of the 20 Most Important Young Philanthropists.

Young people are an important group we work hard to reach. They're the future leaders, and it's important that we engage them now in our mission in hopes that we develop a lifelong relationship that benefits them and our mission. That's why we established the CRI Young Philanthropists Council five years ago. We wanted to find a way to harness all the energy that young people bring to a problem as monolithic as cancer. And to do it we knew we needed to make it fun and worthwhile. The Young Philanthropists have not disappointed. In the past five year's they've raised close to $150,000 from other young people in the New York City area. All monies support the Cancer Research Institute Young Philanthropists Postdoctoral Fellow, currently Dr. Katharina Kreymborg, a young cancer researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

As I'm flipping through Observer Philanthropy I find the list of 20 people under age 40 the magazine considers the top young philanthropists in New York City. Some of the names listed include Eric Trump (yes, that Trump), Laura Bush Lauren (niece of George W. and daughter-in-law of Ralph), Gabby Karan de Felice (daughter of fashion designer Donna Karan), and Amanda Hearst (heiress to William Randolph Hearst's media empire).

Alexis FeldmanThen I recognize a familiar face on the page. It's Alexis Feldman, chair of the CRI Young Philanthropists Council. Next to her photo is a write up about her work with the Cancer Research Institute and the Mentoring Partnership of New York.

I'm always thrilled to see Cancer Research Institute's name in print. The more people who learn about our important mission, the better. But it gave me a special joy to see Alexis' face. I've attended several of the Young Philanthropists benefits she and her fellow council members have organized, and I always have a great time with Alexis. She really cares about the quality of the event and has demonstrated exceptional leadership that has been instrumental to the council's success.

So, congratulations to Alexis. It's great to see when people who give up so much time (and money) in service to charitable causes are given recognition like this.

You can read our news release about this here.

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