Joan Slaughter, a resident of the University Park neighborhood, is the founder of the Morgan Adams Foundation, a non-profit that supports pediatric cancer research which is based in SE Denver. Joan and her husband, Steven, started the non-profit foundation in 2000 shortly after their daughter, Morgan, was diagnosed, at 5 years old, with a malignant brain tumor and passed away after an 11-month battle. As Joan and Steven became more involved with Children’s Hospital they quickly learned that more money was needed to fund pediatric cancer research, and began fundraising. At the time of her diagnosis, Morgan was attending Cory Elementary School. Joan credits both the Cory Elementary and University Park communities with the success of the foundation and the art auction event, ARTMA (art for Morgan Adams).
ARTMA is the signature event that was born out of this neighborhood community. Both the school and neighborhood communities rallied around this first event. Without that support, the foundation never would have happened. The first ARTMA event was in February 2001, had 200 pieces of art, 650 people in attendance, and raised $100,000. The event is now a biennial event (every even year) with the next event scheduled for February 2018 at the Evans School on 11th and Acoma.
The Morgan Adams Foundation also sponsors several other events.
The Morgan Adams Concours d’Elegance event is sponsored by the Morgan Adams Foundation and features 50 million dollars worth of rare and collectible cars, planes, and motorcycles and is held at the Centennial Airport in August. The event also features live and silent auctions, music, and food.
The Morgan Adams Foundation partners with other groups to support other pediatric cancer research fundraising efforts including:
Today, the foundation has funded over 4.5 million dollars in research projects and the research has resulted in significant progress in both short and long-term outcomes for children with pediatric cancer.
That, is something to really be proud of.
As Joan said: “It is THIS neighborhood that should be proud of what it has brought forward. We simply wouldn’t have been able to do what we do if the community hadn’t rallied around us and supported us in so many ways. This is a heart-based neighborhood.”
For more information about the foundation, events, and supporting the foundation, please visit: www.morganadamsfoundation.org
This article was written by Kristin Kleimann and appeared in the October 2017 issue of "Life in the Park" magazine.
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