Willamette Dental Group recently donated more than $1 million to the Knight Cancer Institute in support of the Knight Cancer Challenge. Dr. Eugene Skourtes, CEO of the company, and his executive team presented a check to Dr. Joe Robertson, president of Oregon Health & Science University, Dr. Brian Druker, director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, and Keith Todd, president of the OHSU Foundation.
“Willamette Dental Group is a long-time partner to OHSU, and we’re thrilled to see that partnership expand through this support to the Knight Cancer Challenge,” Dr. Robertson said. “Over the course of two years, the challenge transformed from a campaign to a movement, and it’s no surprise to see Willamette Dental Group take a leadership position on an issue of such importance to the community.”
In September 2013, Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, launched the Knight Cancer Challenge when they pledged $500 million to OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute if OHSU raised another $500 million by February 2016.
Skourtes pledged to donate $1 million to the challenge and by December 2015 Willamette Dental Group employees had raised $250,000, which the company matched dollar-for-dollar. He and his wife, Bonnie, matched that with a donation of their own, bringing the total to a little more than $1 million.
“Cancer impacts everyone in a very personal way; our families, our friends and our colleagues. In living our core value of compassion, we can help fight a vicious disease that claims many lives and we can accomplish that goal together,” said Skourtes. “What better reward could we possibly have then to know that we helped cure cancer?”
The Knight Cancer Challenge is but one of many large-scale projects focusing on the good of others and community edification in which the Skourtes have been involved over the years. They have actively participated with organizations such as the OHSU School of Dentistry, Outside In, the Oregon Food Bank, Pacific University, and the Nature Conservancy to name a few.