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McNair Foundation issues $4 million challenge to build Hope Lodge

In an effort to reach the $30 million campaign goal needed to build an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Houston, which will provide no-cost lodging and support to those traveling to receive cancer treatment in the greater Houston area, the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation has issued a challenge.

The McNair Foundation will contribute $1 for every $2 raised, up to $4 million total. Approximately half of the $30 million campaign goal has been reached, and the generous challenge grant aims to quickly bridge the gap between what is already committed and what is needed in order to break ground. The goal is to reach the challenge by the end of 2015.

"I am anxious to get construction underway," said McNair, who himself is a survivor of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and skin cancer. He was treated at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which provided the land for the project in the Texas Medical Center at 7505 Almeda Road between Holcombe Boulevard and the 610 Loop.

"If there was an award for the most caring, can-do city in the world, it would have to go to Houston; it's a wonderful place to be," Janice McNair said. "This is a great opportunity for people to step-up and help out a community in need and leverage their funds with ours to do so."

Once constructed, Hope Lodge Houston will be southeast Texas' first and only no-cost residence specifically for cancer patients of all ages, helping to alleviate the overwhelming financial burden these families face.

"Hope Lodge is something that is so necessary for Houston. It's amazing that we don't have one already," said Joanie Haley, Executive Director of The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation. "With more than 125,000 cancer patients traveling to Houston each year for life-saving treatment, there truly is a need for a free place for adults to stay."

At capacity, Hope Lodge will offer approximately 23,000 nights of lodging per year, representing a combined savings of over $2 million to patients. There are currently 31 Hope Lodges operated by the American Cancer Society nationwide. Due to patient demand, the Lodge will be the largest in the nation with five floors, 70,000 square feet and 62 patient suites.

Hope Lodge Houston will be open year-round with a unique homelike setting that includes a shared kitchen, dining spaces, a help-yourself pantry, daily access to fresh linens, patient laundry facilities and a library with Internet access as well as free transportation to and from treatment facilities.

"Bob and Janice McNair, who are family-oriented, entrepreneurial, and civic-minded, have given Houstonians a simple way to make a meaningful contribution to the future health of thousands of cancer patients," said Sandy Biggers, American Cancer Society's campaign director. "Whether you are able to give $10 or $10,000, the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation will increase your gift. This provides an incredible opportunity for people to truly make an impact."

To donate or learn more about the Hope Lodge Houston campaign, click here.

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