Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Wins Top Award from the Better Business Bureau, Promoting Public Confidence in Those Giving to Roswell Park Programs Benefitting Cancer Patients

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation received the first and only prestigious award presented by the Better Business Bureau Foundation to a charitable organization that has secured key attributes in its giving programs.  This coveted “Torch Award for Philanthropic Excellence” was scored by an independent judging committee that reviewed applications from throughout the 48 counties of Upstate New York.  

“We are humbled and honored to receive this award for philanthropic excellence and celebrate with staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that the dollars raised are done so with the highest ethics and cost-effectively,” said Lee Wortham, Chair, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Board of Directors. “Everyone is touched by cancer and donors have a right to know that their hard working dollars, given from the heart, are rapidly applied to the most promising research and wide reaching quality-of-life programs for those individuals whose lives will never be the same after a cancer diagnosis. It is extremely fulfilling to be recognized by such a prestigious organization as the Better Business Bureau and is validation to the team that our efforts for cancer patients are among the best practices in the country."

The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation was founded in 1991 by Anne and Donna Gioia after Katherine Gioia, then Anne’s four-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Anne, who became a volunteer in the newly created Development Department at Roswell Park, developed the idea for the Alliance Foundation as Roswell Park’s first community-wide volunteer organization as a memorial to Katherine, who lost her battle with cancer less than one year after being diagnosed.

Anne enlisted her sister-in-law, Donna, to co-found the Alliance to engage other community leaders who felt lives lost to cancer deserved to have better fighting tools to conquer this disease.  Their drive to develop funds to accelerate the discovery for better diagnostics therapies and treatment led to a groundswell of support for this Western New York cancer charity 25 years ago. 

Today, the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation raises and accepts contributions that are put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families at Roswell Park.  Donors of the Alliance Foundation support the most promising and impactful initiatives of Roswell Park, the only comprehensive cancer center in Western and Upstate New York.

“Our organization is proud to honor the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation as our first Torch Award for Philanthropic Excellence winner,” said Shawn Stover, director of Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York. “Developing this award and the criteria was an exciting initiative for us. It is designed to recognize best practices within the charitable community and Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is one of the organizations leading the way in these practices.”

The Torch award brings attention to the practices that nonprofits employ to generate a high level of trust among employees, board members, donors and communities. An independent judging committee reviewed applications received by Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York and scored each organization to identify the winner.   BBB accredited charities that met all 20 Standards of Charity Accountability were eligible to be nominated for this award.

There are several ways to support the Alliance Foundation, from enjoying a special event or designating a gift in honor of a loved one to offering a planned gift as part of your legacy, among others.  For more information or to give, please go online at


About BBB Foundation of Upstate New York
For more than 30 years, Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York has been helping to educate and inform the public. BBB Foundation of Upstate New York is the philanthropic arm of Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York and together these organizations work to embolden trust, ethics, accountability and transparency in our region.

About BBB Charity Review
Charity Review® is a program of BBB Foundation of Upstate New York Inc., dedicated to providing a rigorous evaluation in relation to holistic standards that address finances, effectiveness reporting, and honesty in fundraising appeals, donor privacy and charity governance for charitable organizations in our region. Charity Review® evaluation results are published annually in the Upstate New York Giving Guide. The Giving Guide is intended to provide donors with information that will help them to make more confident giving decisions and in turn increase the standard of conduct in philanthropy overall.

About BBB
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB serving Upstate New York was founded in 1923 and serves 48 counties.


About Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact

John Moscato, Development Marketing & Communications