PHOTO/DAVID ROBERT: Shannon Pierpoint.

The Reno Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit that works to “give a helping hand to those affected by cancer in Northern Nevada.” The foundation is supported by donations, as well as a yearly golf tournament—which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Washoe Golf Course. To learn more about the Reno Cancer Foundation or to register for the tournament, visit

What is the history of the foundation and its mission?

The mission of the Reno Cancer Foundation is to give a sense of hope, and to ease the burdens of cancer by providing compassionate support to local cancer patients and their families. The foundation was incorporated in 1945. It serves all patients diagnosed with cancer to help them afford their treatment and/or support. It is not a complete support system, but it does help with housing, utilities, the cost of medication, car repairs, temporary lodging and any other cost that may arise during a patient’s battle for their life. Many of us are working hard for our money and do not have the extra finances available if illness strikes. Imagine $100 to $200 copays weekly for chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Then add to that the cost of medications needed to prevent nausea, vomiting or other side effects, and it can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 extra per month. I do not know of too many people who can afford these extra costs over their battle, which can continue for years, so having an organization that can assist is crucial for many patients. I have heard many times that without the foundation, the patient would not have pursued treatment. In the previous fiscal year, the Reno Cancer Foundation distributed more than $346,000 in direct financial support.

How do you raise funds to keep the foundation running?

The golf tournament is the only consistent fundraiser. We do apply for local grants and accept donations.

How and when did the golf tournament start?

The idea was born … during a fire drill. Lois (Bynum, the Reno Cancer Foundation) executive director) and I were discussing the declining grants and monies coming into the foundation, and she was saying if the foundation did not try something new, it was in danger of not being able to help people. I went home and thought about what I could do to give this local iconic organization a boost. So after sleeping on it and golfing in (another local) golf tournament, I approached Lois and asked if she would like to throw a golf tournament. With the help of the director of (the other tournament), friends, family and the pro at Wildcreek, our tournament was born. The first year for the tournament was 2015. Technically, this is the ninth year. However, we were unable to host (the tournament) during the pandemic. Many of our sponsors continued to donate and support us, for which we are extremely grateful.

Any interesting or humorous stories from the tournament over the years? 

We have always tried to find new ways to fundraise at the tournament and have gone so far as, one year, to have a dunk tank and host a “Dunk the Doctor.” We use this day for all abilities in golf and have a scramble format, with tons of fun games and activities along the course for everyone.

How can the public help?

We could use any raffle prize donations, lunch or food donations, any funding or any donation to the foundation.

David Robert is the photo editor of the Reno News & Review. In his first stint as the RN&R’s photo editor, he won multiple Nevada Press Association and Association of Alternative Newsmedia awards...

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