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H Foundation’s Goombay Bash Hits Record Fundraising for Basic Cancer Research

On July 27, 2019, more than 1,000 friends and supporters of The H Foundation came together at Chicago’s Navy Pier to support breakthrough cancer research at its annual Goombay Bash. For 19 years, The H Foundation has donated vital funds for basic science research to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. This year’s Goombay Bash raised a record-setting $742,467 for basic science cancer research, bringing the group’s cumulative funds raised since inception to more than $9 million. Through the leadership of Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, and the dedication of Lurie Cancer Center investigators, the H Foundations’ gifts have been leveraged into over $66 million in research dollars, providing high-impact support towards finding a cure.

“Supporting research is more important than ever, and we thank The H Foundation and all of you here tonight for your support,” shared Dr. Platanias, director, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology. “Although cancer remains a big problem, we have big hope because science and technology can help us lead to big breakthroughs. Every medicine, from aspirin to the most complex chemotherapy, came from major advances made through research. On behalf of the Lurie Cancer Center, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We so appreciate your efforts.”

During the evening, longtime H Foundation board member Neal Graves took a moment to honor John Rot Jr., the father of H Foundation board president John Rot. Honcho, as the senior Mr. Rot was affectionately known, was beloved to so many at the H Foundation and across his local community. He passed away just months ago after a long battle with cancer.

“If cancer is personal to you, it is because you love someone,” said Mr. Graves. “We are here because we believe in our hearts that there is a cure. We can turn grief into action, and loss into hope. Everyone here can make a difference.”

After losing a dear friend, Pam Herts, to cancer, The H Foundation and Goombay Bash were started by a few friends with entrepreneurial spirit who decided to make a difference in the fight against cancer. This group and its community of supporters has grown tremendously in nearly two decades with its powerful message “Cancer is Personal to Us.”

For more information about The H Foundation, please visit

View photos from the 2019 Goombay Bash.