Former Red Sox player Mike Andrews to retire as Jimmy Fund Chairman
Dedicated more than 30 years to support cancer care and research at Dana-Farber
November 30, 2009
After more than 30 years as chairman of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund, Mike Andrews, 66, will retire at the end of this year. Under his direction, the Jimmy Fund has grown from raising $1 million a year to help further pediatric and adult cancer care and research to generating more than $64 million in Fiscal 2009.
Andrews' connection with the Jimmy Fund began during his rookie year as Red Sox second baseman on the 1967 "Impossible Dream" team, when he met the first of many patients he would get to know over the years. Andrews was touched by the boy's positive attitude in the face of his terminal disease. Andrews learned firsthand that supporting the Jimmy Fund — an official charity of the Red Sox since 1953 — was an integral part of the team's culture. Further proof of that came when the team voted unanimously to give a full share of their 1967 World Series bonus money to the Jimmy Fund.
In 1979, after he retired from baseball and started a career in the insurance industry, Andrews accepted a part-time leadership role with the Jimmy Fund, eventually transitioning into the full-time role of the Jimmy Fund's executive director in 1984. Today, Andrews' name is synonymous with the Jimmy Fund.
"When Mike Andrews hung up his baseball cleats, he took his talent and competitive spirit and applied it to beating a foe much more formidable than any Fenway Park will ever see," said Larry Lucchino, Boston Red Sox President/CEO, a Dana-Farber trustee, and co-chair of Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer. "Through his tenacity and vision over the last 30 years, he has had a gigantic impact on the lives of countless adults, children and families who have been treated for cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
"We at the Boston Red Sox offer our heartfelt thanks to Mike for serving as a leader and trusted spokesman for our shared cause, and we are proud to call Mike Andrews a dear friend," Lucchino continued. "On behalf of John Henry, Tom Werner, and the entire Red Sox organization, we wish Mike great success in his new retirement adventures, and we look forward to seeing him at the ballpark for many seasons to come. Because of Mike, the bond between the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund is stronger and deeper than ever before, and we promise his legacy will endure."
"I'm a lucky guy to have had the chance to play professional baseball for 13 years and to appear in a couple of World Series," said Andrews. "But there is no question that being part of Dana-Farber has been the most rewarding part of my professional life."
The Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk, Jimmy Fund Golf tournaments, Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, and WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon all started with Andrews at the helm, becoming popular annual events enjoyed by thousands. Andrews also helped Pan-Massachusetts Challenge (PMC) founder and Dana-Farber Trustee Bill Starr get his fledging bike-a-thon started in 1980, and today it is the largest athletic fundraiser in the country. There are now more than 550 fundraising events each year that benefit the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber.
"Mike Andrews' tireless fundraising efforts have helped to dramatically raise survival rates for cancer patients," said Dana-Farber President Edward J. Benz Jr., MD. "Today, more than two out of three people diagnosed with cancer can expect to be alive in five years, compared to only one of two diagnosed in 1975."
"It has been a remarkable three decades, as Mike's guidance and leadership has helped the organization grow to new heights of fundraising success — success that translated into some of the most incredible breakthroughs in cancer research and care," said Susan Paresky, senior vice president, Jimmy Fund Development. "To say that the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber will not be the same without Mike is an understatement."
The Jimmy Fund supports the fight against cancer at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, helping to raise the chances of survival for children and adults with cancer around the world. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives by furthering cancer research and care. Unrestricted support from the Jimmy Fund is an integral part of Mission Possible: The Dana-Farber Campaign to Conquer Cancer, a $1 billion capital campaign to accelerate cancer research, speed development of life-saving therapies, and expand the Institute's signature patient- and family-centered care.