They were told to expect a check. The amount left this Tri-Cities nonprofit ‘shocked and so grateful’

Tri-Cities Cancer Center in Kennewick.
Tri-Cities Cancer Center in Kennewick. Tri-City Herald

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation got a check for nearly $30,000 last year from the estate of a late Richland woman.

It was an “incredibly generous gift to support our programs and services,” said Elizabeth McLaughlin, foundation director.

But the estate wasn’t totally settled, meaning more money could be coming through.

Last month, it did.

The foundation got another check from the estate, this one for more than $660,000.

It’s a “transformational” amount that left leaders feeling “shocked and so grateful,” McLaughlin said.

Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation celebrated the global #GivingTuesday with a 24-hour camp out in recognition of the collaboration and supporters they have in the community. Giveaway gifts for patients and special donations throughout the day w

“This gift has the distinction of being the second-largest single gift in Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation history. When you combine it with the previous gift we received last year, it’s nearly $700,000 that will go to services and programs,” she said.

The foundation isn’t publicly naming the late donor to protect her privacy. But McLaughlin said she was a lifelong Richland resident who taught in Richland schools and had a passion for the arts and for cancer care and research.

She left the bulk of her estate to four nonprofits, including the cancer center foundation, McLaughlin said.

The foundation supports the Tri-Cities Cancer Center in Kennewick, which formed nearly 25 years ago as joint venture among the Tri-Cities’ three hospitals. The center provides cancer treatment, plus a host of related services.

Kadlec Regional Medical Center also operates a hematology and oncology clinic at the center, and Tri-Cities Laboratory is on site.

Trios Health and Lourdes Health have hematology and oncology services that are linked with the center.

About 500 to 600 patients come through the center each month, either for active treatment or follow up.

The foundation helps provide support services such as nurse navigation, chaplain care and free hats, wigs and breast prosthetics for patients. It also helps with education and prevention, including through community cancer screenings.

This year, it aimed to raise about $1.4 million. The nearly $700,000 gift will put it over the $2 million mark for the first time ever.

Learning about the gift “was one of those moments where you’re reminded how good and generous people are,” McLaughlin said. “Gifts like these have the ability to completely transform an organization. We’ll be excited to put this to really great use.”

Sara Schilling: 509-582-1529