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$500,000 Gift From Sonora Area Foundation


Sonora Regional Medical Center is pleased to announce news of a $500,000 gift from the Irving Symons Foundation for Tuolumne County, a supporting organization of the Sonora Area Foundation. The gift is being made in support of the Medical Center’s capital campaign to raise $3 million for a new Cancer Center. This is the largest gift ever made by the community foundation.

Sonora Area Foundation board members presented the gift to Andrew Jahn, hospital CEO and President, and Gail Witzlsteiner, Executive Director of the Medical Center’s Foundation. 

“It is so rewarding to receive a gift like this from the leaders of our community,” stated Jahn. “It says, we support the direction that the hospital is going and we want to be a part of it. We are incredibly grateful for the support that the Sonora Area Foundation is demonstrating with this very generous gift.” 

“News of this gift was so wonderful,” stated Witzlsteiner. “When Lin Freer and Ed Wyllie of the foundation called, they asked me if I was sitting down before they told me the amount of the gift. It is a tremendous boost to the capital campaign.”

Sonora Area Foundation Executive Director Ed Wyllie shared, “The Board decided to fund the project because cancer has become so invasive in our society that everyone seems to know someone that has been impacted by it. They felt that the Cancer Center is a facility that the entire community will benefit from and is the type of facility that our founder, Irving J. Symons, would want to have grant funds directed towards.”

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Sonora Area Foundation is a Community Foundation incorporated in 1989, commencing operations in 1990. Its mission is to strengthen our community by promoting philanthropy through assisting charitable donors, making grants to worthy projects and programs and providing leadership on local issues. The Sonora Area Foundation, along with two supporting organizations, the Irving J. Symons Foundation for Tuolumne County and The Symons Family Fund, has assets of more than $45 million. The governing boards of the Foundation and both supporting organizations regularly award grants that fulfill needs in Tuolumne County. Over $2 million in grants will be awarded during 2015.

Irving J. Symons Foundation for Tuolumne County (IJSF) was incorporated in 2001 for the expressed purpose of providing support to the activities of the Sonora Area Foundation. Although particular concern of IJSF is given to the youth of Tuolumne County, recipients of grant funding through IJSF are selected from eligible charitable organizations serving education; the arts; health care; historic preservation; the elderly; and the disadvantaged.

The capital campaign for the new Cancer Center, to be located on the corner of Greenley Road and Mono Way, kicked off in August of last year and has raised $2.5 million to date.

If you are interested in donating to the new Cancer Center, please call Gail at the Foundation office at 536-5029.