Alberta Cancer Foundation

Cure Cancer Foundation and Toast of the Town event raise $450,000 for Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Cross Cancer Institute

Cal Nichols - Toast of the Town

Cure Cancer Foundation and Toast of the Town event raise $450,000 for Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Cross Cancer Institute.

Donations to benefit groundbreaking cellular therapy research and ‘made-in Alberta’ solutions to cancer

April 25, 2024 (Edmonton, AB) – The Cure Cancer Foundation and Alberta Cancer Foundation are pleased to announce an incredible $450,000 donation to the Cross Cancer Institute, thanks to the generous Edmontonians who attended last weekend’s Toast of the Town event at the River Cree Resort & Casino. Toast of the Town is a semi-annual event dedicated to celebrating the city’s spirit of generosity and health innovation.

This year, all proceeds raised will benefit groundbreaking cellular – or CAR T-cell – therapy clinical trials at the Cross Cancer Institute. CAR T-cell therapy is used to treat certain cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma. It involves modifying a patient’s immune cells in a lab and then injecting these now-supercharged cells back into the patient to find and attack cancer cells. This therapy holds immense promise in changing how cancer is treated, offering renewed hope to patients and their families. Although it is still in the clinical trial phase in Alberta, local clinicians are working to make it a standard-of-care treatment.

“Our goal is to ensure as many patients as possible have access to this potentially life-saving therapy and we can truly change the treatment options for generations to come,” Dr. Michael Chu, clinician scientist, Cross Cancer Institute, who is at the forefront of this groundbreaking endeavor

The Toast of the Town event, which had a notable hockey presence, honoured Cal Nichols, who served as Chairman and NHL Governor for ten years and is credited for ‘saving’ the Oilers from leaving Edmonton. Nichols is an Alberta Business Hall of Fame inductee and has been recognized by many other organizations for his continued efforts in our community, particularly for his leadership in the revitalization of downtown. His enduring legacy as a visionary and philanthropist continues to inspire generations.

“Hockey and fundraising are both team efforts: no one wins alone,” says Barrie Stafford, co-chair, Toast of the Town, and board member, Cure Cancer Foundation. “We’re so lucky to live in Alberta where we have the Cross Cancer Institute, the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Cure Cancer Foundation. Some of the best and brightest minds in cancer research are right here in Alberta, but they can’t do it alone. Fundraising supports these trials and research, and we’re working together to cure cancer.”

“We are very grateful for the support shown by the Toast of the Town community,” says Lindsay Gilbert, director of philanthropy, Alberta Cancer Foundation. “This incredible contribution to research at the Cross Cancer Institute will have a tremendous impact on the outcomes for patients here in Edmonton and around the world.”

While the event may have ended fundraising efforts are ongoing, as the community works tirelessly to secure a brighter future for Albertans facing cancer and their loved ones. Donations can still be made here.

About the Cure Cancer Foundation

The Cure Cancer Foundation is dedicated to accelerating the pace of progress in cancer research and treatment. Through strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives, the foundation aims to transform the landscape of cancer care, offering hope and healing to patients worldwide. For more information, visit

About the Alberta Cancer Foundation

Creating more moments for Albertans facing cancer by inspiring our community to give to innovation in detection, treatment and care. Albertans helping Albertans is at the core of everything the Alberta Cancer Foundation does. As the official fundraising partner for every Alberta Health Services cancer centre in the province, our very purpose comes from our desire to create more moments for all Albertans facing cancer, no matter where they live or the type of cancer they are facing. From the mountains in Canmore to the canola fields in Lloydminster, we make life better for Albertans facing cancer by supporting world-class research and patient care, close to home.

About the Cross Cancer Institute

The Cross Cancer Institute, located in the heart of Edmonton, Alberta, is a leading center for cancer research treatment and care. As a hub of innovation and excellence, the institute is dedicated to advancing the understanding of cancer and developing novel therapies to improve patient outcomes.

For media inquiries, contact:

Dean Heuman | Principal/Executive Advisor
Focus Communications | 780.983.9954 |

Amanda Debenham | Public Relations Advisor
Alberta Cancer Foundation | 587.223.6551 |