Champion for Cures Award

Honoring Philanthropy

The AACI Champion for Cures Award was established in 2018 to recognize one or more people or an organization, who, through direct financial support of an AACI cancer center, demonstrate exceptional leadership in advancing cancer research and care and in inspiring others to do the same.

Selected by the AACI Board of Directors, the awardee has gained distinction through their visionary approach to promoting our shared goal of a future without cancer. Through their transformational philanthropy, which may take many forms—including supporting a new facility, cancer center infrastructure, or programming—the cancer center can focus beyond immediate needs to foster creativity and innovation and multiply its impact on patient health, research, and its surrounding community.

Previous Champion for Cures Award recipients are Pelotonia, Sidney and Caroline Kimmel, Phil and Peggy Knight, the Jon M. and Karen Huntsman family, and Richard and Susan Rogel.

2022 Recipient Spotlight


In its first 13 years, Pelotonia—a three-day experience of cycling, entertainment, and volunteerism—has raised more than $236 million for The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. The dollars raised support projects that address many areas of cancer research, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, psychosocial issues, accelerated drug development and large initiatives that help change the landscape of cancer care.

OSUCCC – James has dedicated these funds to building innovative programs and initiatives, such as the Pelotonia Fellowship Program and the Pelotonia Idea Grants Program. Through a five-year pledge of $100 million, Pelotonia will launch an institute for immuno-oncology at the James. The James has also used funds raised by Pelotonia to support four statewide initiatives on colorectal cancer prevention, the prevention and treatment of endometrial cancer, assessing survival and quality of life using genetic testing for advanced stage lung cancer, and reducing the high breast cancer mortality among African American women in Ohio.

  • Only directors of AACI member cancer centers are eligible to submit nominations
  • Nominees must make their major philanthropic gift to an AACI member center
  • Eligible nominees will be considered based on satisfactory completion of the nomination form, which should include descriptions of the following:
    • The impact the nominee's gift is expected to have on cancer research, patient care, or the community
    • How the nominee's gift serves as a catalyst for lasting change at the cancer center
    • How the nominee's gift is visionary and serves to inspire others

The Champion for Cures honoree will be selected by a majority vote of the AACI Board of Directors. The AACI president will notify the cancer center who submitted the name of the selected honoree. The award will be presented in October during the 2023 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

In the event that there is no nomination or no nominee meets the award criteria, no award will be made for that cycle. 

February 1, 2023
2023 nomination period opens

March 31, 2022
AACI Board of Directors completes review of nominations

July 2023
Honoree announced in AACI Update newsletter

October 1-3, 2023
Award presented during the 2023 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting at the Salamander Washington DC 

Please note: all dates are subject to change.