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Funayama Strengthens University of Hawaii Cancer Research with $100K Gift

FROM L to R: Barry Weinman, Chair, UH Foundation Board of Trustees; M.R.C. Greenwood, President, UH System; Dr. Michele Carbone, Director, University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center; Betty Funayama, donor; Virginia Hinshaw, Chancellor; UH Mānoa; Donna Vuchinich, President and CEO, UH Foundation

BY MARGOT SCHRIRE — Local philanthropist Betty Funayama has established the Warren T. Funayama Endowed Fund at the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center in memory of her late husband Warren. Her $100,000 gift will help strengthen promising research in the areas of breast, liver and kidney cancer and ultimately translate into better cancer treatment and care for the people of Hawai‘i.

“Warren came from humble beginnings. It is through his hard and dedicated work that I am able to make this gift,” said Betty Funayama. “He was a generous and compassionate man who always wanted to help those who were less fortunate by supporting many charities and community organizations.” She continued, “He would be pleased to know that through this endowment he will help find a cure for cancer and improve the quality of life for those diagnosed with the disease.”

Maui native Warren Tsugio Funayama graduated from Baldwin High School in 1954 and the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa with a degree in Banking and Finance and a minor in Economics in 1961.  He became a certified financial planner, chartered life underwriter and an investment adviser representative, eventually earning the distinction of “Life Member” in the financial service industry’s Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).

MDRT members are internationally recognized as demonstrating exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service.

“This gift from Betty Funayama is particularly meaningful because the areas she wants to impact are also the cancers that are most prevalent here in Hawai‘i,” said Dr. Michele Carbone, director of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center. He continued, “We are fortunate she understands the power of private support in the fight against cancer. Her gift will help us advance our efforts to take cutting-edge science into the clinic where it benefits patients.”

“Great community partners like Betty Funayama are crucial to advancing Cancer Center research that will save lives here in Hawai‘i and beyond,” said Virginia Hinshaw, chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She continued, “We are truly grateful to her for this generous gift.”

For more information on how you can support the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center, please contact Kristi Bates at (808) 564-5815 or kristi.bates@uhfoundation.org. You can also make a give online www.uhfoundation.org/GivetoCancerCenter

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