Longo Brothers Fruit Markets (“Longo’s”) and the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation (“LFCF”) announced a breakthrough donation today of $2.5 million to The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (“The PMCF”). This donation marks the largest single philanthropic gift made by the Longo family.
The LFCF was established in 1998 with a vision to build happier and healthier communities; one where children and youth are empowered to reach their full potential. This is accomplished through strategic investments and partnerships in healthcare, with a focus on emerging research in the areas of mental health and immunotherapy, as well as initiatives emphasized on leadership and development of children and youth of all abilities.
The legacy donation will be distributed between two major areas of impact for The PMCF; the Tumour Immunotherapy Program and the Space Transformation Campaign, supported through direct philanthropy, and the ongoing sponsorship of Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer.
The donation complements Longo’s corporate areas of focus, which include disease prevention and education, child and youth leadership initiatives, and nutrition and food aid programs. Throughout the last five years, Longo’s corporate giving, combined with the LFCF’s philanthropy has resulted in more than $10.5M in investments in healthcare, kids’ camps, as well as child and youth leadership and development initiatives, impacting the lives of thousands of families.
“It is a core pillar of Longo’s to continually support organizations leading the way in disease prevention, but particularly now, we know that cancer doesn't stop being a life-changing and life-threatening disease in the middle of a pandemic,” said Anthony Longo, President and CEO of Longo’s. “Princess Margaret Cancer Centre conducts life-changing research that impacts families in our communities every day, and we are humbled knowing the impact this donation will have on families locally as well as around the world.”
Longo’s donation to the Tumour Immunotherapy Program will directly support the program's research and its scientists, who are helping to prolong and save lives through their ground-breaking initiatives. Through the program and the creation of targeted immunotherapy drugs, those suffering from metastatic melanoma have increased their survival rate from 20% in 2008 to 60% in 2018.
As part of the donation, the new Longo’s Family Lounge in the Blood Lab will be part of the Space Transformation Campaign and will provide comfort and privacy to the nearly 2,000 patients who visit the lab each week.
“We are extraordinarily grateful to Longo’s and LCFC for their founding partnership on Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer and their ongoing philanthropic support. The gift to our Space Transformation project will benefit every patient who receives care at The Princess Margaret, and their investment in immunotherapy research will help sustain The Princess Margaret as one of the top five cancer research centres in the world,” said Michael Burns, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.
As a founding sponsor since 2011, Longo’s is proud to carry on its commitment of fuelling players and volunteers as a Presenting Sponsor of the Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer for the next five years. To date, the event has successfully raised more than $23M to enable Future Care Now at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. These funds accelerate cancer research, education, and clinical care, which benefits patients at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, across Canada and around the world.
“The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation played a critical role in my father, Tommy Longo’s, fight against leukemia and we are forever grateful to the care and support their team offered us during that time,” said Longo. “1 in 2 Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and we hope that this donation will help fund research that will someday eradicate this terrible disease. As a leader in cancer research, we know that this donation is in the right hands.”