Spotlight On: The William E. Simon Foundation
The generosity of the William E. Simon Foundation and the Simon family is a story of philanthropy at its best. Their zeal to do good for Morristown Medical Center is unmatched, and their endless energy for volunteerism is unparalleled. They leave their legacy in the pages of the hospital’s history of how one foundation backed by one family can tremendously enhance a community’s well-being, one donation at a time.
As the William E. Simon Foundation sunsets, spending the remainder of its assets before closing, Morristown Medical Center has received a generous $1 million donation in one of the Foundation’s final rounds of giving. This transformative gift will help fund the creation of the Simon Family Advanced Cellular Therapy Unit at Morristown Medical Center, which will treat patients undergoing immune effector cell therapy and other intensive cancer treatments that require heightened monitoring and clinical management.
Co-chairs Bill and J. Peter Simon join siblings Mary, Leigh, Katie, Aimee and Julie in leading the foundation in its final hours. All seven serve on the board of directors and reflect with pride on the more than $20 million awarded to Morristown Medical Center since 1969. Highlights include a $2 million donation made in 1987 – naming the Timothy Charles Simon Wing – and a generous $2.5 million gift in 1995 to seed the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center.
The William E. Simon Foundation, which began in 1967, was named for its principal benefactor William Edward Simon. Generous of his time and talents the late Mr. Simon spent many hours as a volunteer at the hospital along with his wife, Carol G. Simon – William as a eucharist minister and Carol as a candy striper. The couple found joy helping those in need, even in the smallest gestures.
Everyone who knew the late William and Carol Simon spoke of their hands-on support at the hospital, William as a eucharist minister and Carol as a volunteer candy striper. The couple found joy while helping those in need, even in the smallest gestures.
Outside of Morristown, Mr. Simon’s career took him to Washington as Secretary of the Treasury for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. “My dad taught us all by example,” said Peter Simon, former chair of the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center Board of Trustees and current board member. Peter and his wife, Janet, are active members of the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center Philanthropy Council.
Sisters Leigh Simon Porges and Katie Simon agree that their parents’ influence profoundly shaped their lives. Leigh Porges founded the nonprofit organization OneGift along with Foundation Trustee Anne DeLaney, which awarded wishes to cancer patients at the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center for decades. “Helping at Morristown Medical Center has always been a part of the Simon world,” said Porges. “I look forward to passing this tradition down to my children. It’s my mom and dad’s legacy, which we take very seriously.”
Katie Simon remembers with fondness her larger-than-life dad, especially on Christmas mornings, when they would serve hot meals to the homeless at the Covenant House in New York City. “My dad ingrained in all of us that to which much has been given, much is expected,” said Katie Simon, former chair of the Women’s Health Philanthropy Council. “We were raised to give back.”
Some of the William E. Simon Foundation’s top priorities include supporting cancer care and Project Independence, a program that provides grants to patients in financial need. However, these signature projects stand amongst a long list of renovation and expansion initiatives and technological funding that the William E. Simon Foundation and the Simon family have supported whenever a need arose at Morristown Medical Center.
The Simon family and the William E. Simon Foundation intertwine so profoundly that the crossover between personal philanthropy and foundation support often blurs, but the unwavering generosity of both remains instrumental in helping to shape the future of Morristown Medical Center.
To support Morristown Medical Center through a nonprofit foundation or corporation, contact Bonnie Gannon, director of corporate and foundation relations, at 973-593-2419 or firstname.lastname@example.org.