Dick Swanson Humanitarian Award

The Perry R. (Dick) Swanson Humanitarian Award

The Perry R. (Dick) Swanson Humanitarian Award will celebrate and honor an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to the Pittsburgh community through leadership, service, and contributions with a special emphasis on cancer research. The recipient should exemplify the core definition of humanitarian as having concern for or helping to improve the welfare and happiness of people.

It was the vision and dedication of the late Dick Swanson which led to the development of the Stanley M. Marks Research Fund. Dick was an enthusiastic fundraiser and after seeing the incredible work of Dr. Marks and the researchers at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center right here in Pittsburgh, he decided that he wanted to help. Dick then created the Research Fund as a way for grateful family, friends, and patients to say, ‘thank you’ and to help fund future research which has the potential to save many more people diagnosed with blood cancers.

Dick was a Pittsburgher his entire life. He graduated from Mt Lebanon High School and the University of Pittsburgh. Following his service with the United States Navy, Dick became a successful business owner in Carnegie. As an alum at Pitt, Dick was extremely active with the Delta Tau Delta fraternity where he served as President and later as Chapter Advisor for more than 20 years. He was also a huge supporter of Pitt Athletics, a passion he shared with his friend, Dr. Stanley Marks.

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2019 Perry R. (Dick) Swanson Humanitarian Award: Joe Curtin

Joe Curtin

The Stanley M. Marks 4th Annual Golf Classic is pleased to honor Joseph (Joe) Curtin with the Perry R. (Dick) Swanson Humanitarian Award.  This award celebrates and honors an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to the Pittsburgh community through leadership, service, and contributions with a special emphasis on cancer research. 

A lifelong Pittsburgh resident, advocate, and leader in business and community, Joe has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Stanley M. Marks Blood Cancer Research Fund. He is among a small group of dedicated community members who founded the Golf Classic and Dinner with the goal of providing funds to support highly innovative and specialized cancer research that will have a direct impact on those diagnosed with blood cancers –here in Pittsburgh and worldwide. 

Joe previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tube City IMS Corporation until his retirement in 2012. He currently serves on the IMS board of directors. A highly respected and accomplished businessman, Joe was equally active in several professional organizations in the steel industry. 

Numerous western Pennsylvania initiatives and charitable organizations have also benefited from Joe’s commitment, including the American Heart Association; Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  

In recent years, Joe has put much of his philanthropic efforts behind Dr. Marks and his Blood Cancer Research Fund realizing that most people today have been touched in some way by cancer.  He has seen firsthand the significant progress being made by the cancer research scientists at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and became more involved knowing that all dollars raised at this event in Pittsburgh remain in this community. 

Since his retirement, Joe remains active and dedicated to providing not only financial support but generously offers his commitment of time. He is known to take a special interest in volunteering to help others with simply an afternoon of friendship, outings, or dining. 

He’s been called genuine, humbled, and inspirational by those who know him best. A fitting recipient of the 2019 Dick Swanson Humanitarian Award. 

2018 Perry R. (Dick) Swanson Humanitarian Award: Nadine Bognar

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The Stanley M. Marks 3rd Annual Golf Classic is pleased to honor Nadine E. Bognar, posthumously, with the inaugural Perry R. (Dick) Swanson Humanitarian Award.  We couldn’t think of a more deserving person who epitomized the true definition of Humanitarian. Nadine succumbed to injuries suffered in a fire at her home in January of this year, but her legacy and her commitment will live on in our community.

In her lifetime, Nadine was known as a strong and respected leader in business; an active, hands-on member of the community; and a generous supporter of many non-profit organizations throughout Pittsburgh. A true Pittsburgher, Nadine saw a need and worked to fulfill it—whether that was through her generous financial support or her equally generous commitment of time and talent.

Numerous non-profit organizations received the Nadine Bognar commitment, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Mercy Foundation, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Children’s Home, and the Carnegie Museums, as well as the boards of the Pittsburgh Public Theater, the Pittsburgh Opera, and the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.

Nadine’s efforts did not go unrecognized. For many years, Nadine was the only active (non-honorary) female board member of the Allegheny Club. In 1998, she received the Performing Arts Partnership and Achievement Award from Point Park University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2000. That same year, she received the first Minerva award from the Pittsburgh Opera and was named FanFare’s “Woman of the Year” in 2000 and 2001. In 2007, she was honored by the Pittsburgh Public Theater as their “Glorious Lady” and, in 2009, she was honored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at their annual Vegas on the Mon benefit.

It was her own personal battle with leukemia that strengthened her commitment to cancer research through Dr. Stanley M. Marks and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Our Mission

The Stanley M. Marks Blood Cancer Research Fund continues to make an indelible impact on the overall body of knowledge of cancer treatment, detection, and prevention, the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, and the 100,000 patients it serves annually. It does so by supporting highly innovative research at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center aimed at the development of new and more effective therapies for patients with all types of cancers as well as early detection and prevention strategies to reduce the burden of cancer regionally, nationally, and globally.