International Home Furnishings Industry raises $1.94 million for cancer research

GREENSBORO, NC — City of Hope’s International Home Furnishings Industry fundraising group and this year’s Spirit of Life honorees from Flexsteel Industries and KUKA Home raised more than $1.94 million for City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S. and a leading research center for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses.

From left to right: Matt Harrison of KUKA, Jerry Dittmer, and Tim Newlin of Flexsteel. 

More than 850 industry professionals gathered at the annual Spirit of Life gala, held April 14, to recognize industry powerhouses Jerry Dittmer and Tim Newlin of Flexsteel and Matt Harrison of KUKA. With their leadership and the generosity of the home furnishings industry, this year’s campaign brought in lifesaving funds to accelerate cancer research. A portion of these funds will specifically support the childhood cancer efforts at City of Hope.

Caitlin Herron, a 20-year-old pediatric cancer survivor, also addressed attendees of the gala. 

Diagnosed at age 12 with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia, Herron sought treatment from City of Hope, which has deep expertise with this type of cancer. Herron has been cancer-free for five years and she shares her story to put a face to the disease and the lifesaving results of City of Hope’s world-class research, treatment, and care.

“For six decades, the International Home Furnishings Industry has accelerated some of City of Hope’s most important innovations and breakthroughs in treating cancer and diabetes,” said Kristin Bertell, chief philanthropy officer for City of Hope. “Tonight, the group has supported our world-class pediatrics program — a program that not only saves lives but provides personalized, lifelong care so that pediatric cancer survivors can thrive. We’re incredibly grateful for IHFI’s legacy of support.”

During the event, Saro Armenian, Barron Hilton Chair in Pediatrics at City of Hope Children’s Cancer Center, described how his team’s work is transforming cancer care for children and young adults far beyond City of Hope’s metaphorical four walls.

“Philanthropy has a profound impact on patients around the globe,” Armenian said. “It’s not just City of Hope patients who benefit from new treatments and cures — it’s all people who face cancer and diabetes.”

The Spirit of Life committee and City of Hope recognize and thanks the 2024 Spirit of Life top sponsors.

To learn more about the industry’s next flagship fundraising event, the West Coast Golf & Tennis Tournament, and to register online, click here or send an email to [email protected].

(Watch below): City of Hope leukemia survivor, Caitlin Herron, talks about the support she and her family received from City of Hope’s Department of Supportive Care Medicine while she was in treatment. 


Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.