In October of 1978, I learned that my father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. It took his life and my heart on November 16, 1979. Following is a brief description of what the Rich Mauti Cancer Fund is and how we operate.
In 1979, the second year of what was to be an eight-year NFL career with the New Orleans Saints and the Washington Redskins, we started the first annual Rich Mauti Scramble Against Cancer Golf Tournament. All of the money raised was give to the American Cancer Society (I was later appointed to the local Board). When the season began that year, I established the “Mauti Challenge”. As a special teams player, I donated $1 for every yard I gained on kickoff coverages. We challenged local businesses and fans to match my donations. The net result the first year was more than $10,000 to the American Cancer Society. This program continued throughout my entire NFL career. In 1980, Shell Oil Company joined forces with 100 local Shell gas station dealers donating 25 cents per quart of oil sold and one cent per gallon of gasoline sold during the month of October. The result was almost $18,000 to the American Cancer Society.
In 1981, we formed the Rich Mauti Cancer Fund, a voluntary, a 501c3 non-profit organization designed to raise money for cancer research, education and screenings, with all funds to be utilized in the State of Louisiana; the state, by the way, with the highest incident rate in the nation for several major types of cancer. This was created to assure that all funds raised would remain locally with no administrative costs. After 26 years the annual Rich Mauti Scramble Against Cancer Golf Tournament had its final event on May 20th, 2005. Our main fundraising event is now the Annual Rich Mauti Cancer Fund Tennis Classic which will be held the second week in April each year at Stone Creek Club & Spa. Other sources of revenue are generated from corporate, individual and memorial donations.
Over the years, contributions through our community included donations to help build the local Ronald McDonald House and grants to various cancer research teams. Our Individual Needs Program administered through Hospital Drug Store (local pharmacist) provides assistance, medication and supplements to cancer patients. We funded a skin cancer prevention program through the Louisiana Cancer Consortium to provide daily information on the levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
One of our most ambitious programs to date has been our partnership with East Jefferson General Hospital (a community hospital) in which we have completed funding approximately $300,000 to develop the Comprehensive Education and Early Detection Program (CEED) and the purchase of a mobile screening van in 1989. Recently, the Rich Mauti Cancer Fund and the East Jefferson Hospital Foundation teamed with The Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center to provide the screening van as support to service hundreds of cancer screening events every year in St. Tammany Parish and other north shore parishes since 2004. Mary Bird Perkins has since purchased there own mobile screening van to help service the community demand.
We have been able to reach out to business and industry groups and isolated communities with our mobile screening van, which currently provides several cancer screenings, (colo-rectal, prostate, skin and breast) a blood workup and educational information on early detection and treatment. In addition to our other services, we continue to provide for free screenings through our fund raising efforts!
All proceeds generated from our events and donations are dedicated to our local cancer community needs. There are no administration fees or salaries paid from the generated funds. We are a 100% volunteer organization with no administrative costs.
Our goal is to continue to develop partnerships with local cancer institutions in a concerted effort to provide cancer awareness, education, screenings and individual needs support to our local cancer community. We believe early detection is our best chance to fight this dreaded disease.
If you would like further information on the Rich Mauti Cancer Fund, or wish to make a donation, email us.