The Rita Foundation, Inc.

Daily Point of Light # 3735 May 28, 2008

The mission of the RITA Foundation, Inc. is to help find a cure for cancer, and specifically breast cancer. Started in 1997, The RITA (Research Is The Answer) Foundation has raised money and awareness for 11 years through our six special events donating $2,500,000 to local programs. With no salary expense or overhead expense, RITA is able to donate 100% of our net proceeds. All grants are unrestricted and remain in the local community.

These grants allow the recipients to fill their most pressing needs. Shands Jacksonville has used RITA funds to upgrade mammography software and purchase new technology. RITA’s most recent donation of $250,000 helped bring new digital mammography equipment to Shands. All patients receive the benefit of this state of the art technology. RITA is the largest contributor to the Baptist Cancer Institute with funds used to create the genetic testing program, purchase equipment, host public health symposiums, nursing educational conferences, and prostate screening for the Afro-American male community. 2006 saw a $400,000 digital mammography machine donated to the Mayo Clinic, bringing this new technology to their campus. RITA grants have been used at Mayo to fund clinical trials, a mammography study, and to hire a basic cancer researcher.

Thousands will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and many do not have access to medical care. RITA funds cancer programs at Shands Jacksonville, Baptist Cancer Institute, Baptist Medical Center Beaches, and Mayo Clinic. All these programs serve those who cannot pay for services.

In addition, we fund Bosom Buddies, a support group of the Women's Center of Jacksonville that provides their expertise, support, and compassion to all women regardless of their ability to pay. Additionally, RITA provides the 'NOTEBOOK for the cancer patient', an 80- page organizer free for newly diagnosed patients.