News & Publications

Something Old, New, Borrowed, and...Charitable?

May 15, 2014 | Hannah Belisle

It’s official: wedding season is in full swing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got eleven—yes, eleven!—blessed unions on the horizon for the remainder of 2014. One of them is my own (me and my fiancé, Mitch, pictured right), so I’m not sure if that counts. And two of them are on the same day, and another one of them I can’t attend. So, let’s call it eight. I am going to eight weddings this year. That I know of.

I’ll admit that I’m biased. I work in fundraising at the Cancer Research Institute and have the pleasure of interacting with generous people who see the celebration of their marriage as a chance to do something selfless. As I prepare for my own nuptials this fall and make earth-shattering decisions—color hues, flower species, cake flavors, dance songs, party favors—I vacillate between complete obsession and utter shame at the excessiveness of it all. Why not take advantage of having the people I love in one room and do something meaningful?

At the Cancer Research Institute, we are humbled by an increasing number of couples, families, and groups of friends from near and far who include us in their celebrations by directing their loved ones to support CRI’s research programs in lieu of or in addition to flowers or traditional gifts. Take for instance, Erika and Zach (left), who instead of having their guests add silverware or home appliances to their registry cart to honor their April 5th wedding, invited them to make a donation to support CRI. They raised an incredible $17,000 for our mission in pioneering research in cancer immunology and immunotherapy, for which we here at CRI, our scientists and, ultimately, the patients we help, are grateful.

Asking wedding guests to donate to CRI directly helps advance our work to conquer cancer. It is also a powerful way to unite loved ones around our shared cause. Funds donated help support researchers around the world who are changing the course of cancer with immunotherapy. Because these immunotherapies are applicable across a wide variety of cancer types, our donors are making an impact in the lives of many patients and their loved ones for years to come.

To learn more about setting up a fund at the Cancer Research Institute in honor of your wedding or another occasion, visit, or call us at (212) 688-7515.

Stephen Knows Cancer
Got to say that I'm impressed your gonna be able to still make it to 8 weddings this year! My fiancé and I are headed to two different ones in the next three weeks, and that already seems like plenty of weddings to attend. In any case, I'm quite touched by the choice that Erica and Zach made. It's definitely not something that you see everyday.
5/23/2014 12:01:01 AM