For Immediate Release
October 12, 2004

Contact:
Fiona Hutton
Roger Salazar
800-931-CURE

Laurie Roberts
Stowers Representative
(816) 931-8900



$1 Million Challenge Gift Helps Generates $5 Million
For Campaign in Support of Stem Cell Research

(Los Angeles, CA) —Organizers of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, today announced the realization of a $1 million campaign challenge gift by benefactors Jim and Virginia Stowers. Campaign organizers raised the required $4 million in challenge funds by the mutually established October 15 deadline. The additional $5 million in support will be used to further educate California residents about the initiative, which will appear on the November 2 statewide ballot.  Proposition 71 would authorize the issuance of $3 billion in tax-free, state general obligation bonds to provide funding for stem cell research.
 
Learning that their challenge had been realized, Jim and Virginia Stowers, founders of the Kansas City-based Stowers Institute for Medical Research, said they were “enormously gratified” by the support of the people of California for this effort. 
 
“Virginia and I owe a debt of gratitude to those who stepped up to meet our challenge.  We hope they know that just as they stood with us, we also stand with them in our dedication to stem cell research and the great promise it offers for humankind,” Jim Stowers said of his and his wife’s gift. 
 
 Prop 71 will support stem cell research at California hospitals, medical schools and universities, to develop life-saving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults.  Scientists believe that stem cell research holds the promise to treat a multitude of diseases that include cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS and spinal cord injuries.  These diseases affect 128 million Americans, including a child or adult in nearly half of all California families. 
 
“We put forth this challenge to ensure that California voters more clearly understand the facts about stem cell research, and the opportunity Prop 71 offers,” Stowers said.  “As we’ve said before, our goal is to make the United States a leading center of stem cell research.  And we heartily applaud any effort, anywhere, that seeks to bring us closer to this vision.”
 
“Today’s announcement is a tremendous validation of the importance of stem cell research to California families and families throughout the nation,” said Robert Klein, state chairman for the Yes on Prop 71 campaign. “When the founder of one of the nation’s largest medical research foundations personally contributes to this cause, it underscores the real promise and potential for stem cell research to reduce the future of human suffering.”
 
The Stowers Institute for Medical Research was founded in 1994 by Jim and Virginia Stowers, two cancer survivors who are dedicated to supporting the basic research that will provide long-term solutions to gene-based diseases. Jim and Virginia Stowers reside in Kansas City, Missouri and La Jolla, California. Jim Stowers is also Founder and Chairman of American Century Investments, which manages $90 billion for more than 1.2 million investors.
 
Prop 71 has also drawn a broad and diverse coalition of grassroots supporters that also include Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, more than 100 state and local elected officials, faith-based organizations and families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases. 
 
It has also attracted organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association California Council, California Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, American Diabetes Association, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California, ALS Therapy Development Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, California Congress of Seniors, and the National Coalition for Cancer Research (NCCR).  A complete list of endorsing organizations can be found on the campaign’s website, www.YesOn71.com.
 
Prop 71 was developed by a coalition of California families and medical experts determined to close the stem cell research funding gap. Currently, our state has no effective mechanism to fund stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research.
 
More information on Prop can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.  
 

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Paid for by YES on 71: Coalition for Stem Cell Research and Cures, #1260661
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