By Roslyn Lo
When cancer struck at the heart of Andy Abramson’s family, the CEO of Value Companies, Inc, a real estate development and property management firm, took it personally.
In 2007, he co-founded the Cure Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (CBCF), a 501(c) 3, non-profit organization, and then enlisted a number of partners to help sponsor charity events.
To date, CBCF has raised more than $1.3 million through events such as an annual golf tournament, charitable walks and other fundraising activities.
Fully 100% of its net fundraising proceeds are donated to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan to support the ground-breaking research being conducted there by noted oncologist Dr. Larry Norton.
Last year, Abramson created the Lease for a Cure initiative to get more real estate companies involved in the effort. After raising $25,000 in just one month, the CEO is confident that this year’s event will be even more successful. “This time we’re aiming for $100,000,” Abramson said.
Abramson credits the formation of the charity to his daughter Carly who crafted her mother, Lisa, a beaded key ring after she was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 12 years old.
Fueled by the love for her mother and undaunted by the challenges, with the help of friends and family, Carly and went on to raise $10,000 making and selling crafts.
Today, Carly and Andy continue to hold true to the belief that no idea is out of the realm of possibility and their second annual Apartment Owners Lease for a Cure initiative — a month-long event held during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October — has shown once again what can be achieved.
When it first came about, Abramson’s goals were modest. “We were trying to come up with a means of getting more involved in the real estate community. Initially it was calling close friends and associates, pitching ideas, without any expectation. The results were positive,” he said.
“I was convinced that anything that can be done to advance the progress being made in cancer research should be a priority and that money was obviously a critical factor in furthering this work.”
The premise is simple: each company that participates in Lease for a Cure agrees to donate $10 for every lease that is signed during October. Last year, 15 major real estate companies took part, including Value Companies, Affiliated Management, AvalonBay Communities, Bertram Associates, BNE Associates, CJ Lombardo, Gibbs Family Properties, Goldberg Realty, JK Management LLC, KRE Group, Kriegman & Smith, Inc., Pen Realty LLC, Quaker Group, Roseland Properties, Segal & Segal, Solomon Management LLC and Sterling Properties.
This year, with the help of new partnerships, Abrams expects the magnitude of Lease for a Cure’s success to increase.
For the second annual Lease for a Cure, CFBC is working with the New Jersey Apartment Association. “The apartment industry has long been known for its incredible generosity, and Lease for a Cure gives us a chance to point our resources to a wonderful cause — curing breast cancer,” said Jean Maddalon, executive vice president of New Jersey Apartment Association.
“Everyone is connected to a life that has been saved or extended as a result of research funded by efforts like Lease for a Cure. We are honored to participate by promoting the $10 per lease contribution at our upcoming convention, May 23-25 at the Atlantic City Convention Center.”
Abramson said CBCF continues to branch out with its charity efforts, with many events slated for the 2011 calendar. To find out more, visit www.curebreastcancerfoundation.org or call 973-471-2223.