NBC4's Fritz Coleman Helps American Cancer Society Discovery Shops Celebrate 50th Anniversary

The American Cancer Society celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its successful Discovery Shops on Friday, June 12 at The Discover Shop in Toluca Lake, California with NBC4 Weathercaster Fritz Coleman taking part to honor the charity's contributions toward cancer research. The special celebration will also honor cancer survivors.

“I am honored to be a part of The Discovery Shop’s anniversary festivities,” said Coleman.

“I was fortunate enough to take part in the store’s grand opening with Bob Hope almost 20 years ago. On that day, I knew that the positive impact of The Discovery Shop’s concept and fundraising capabilities would thrive for many years to come.”

During the special celebration, patrons of the store will get savings of up to 50 percent off purchases, and Golden Ticket drawings will be held every hour for a chance to win up to $50 in Discovery Dollars.

With 40 Discovery Shops in California and more than 5,000 volunteers, in addition to other locations in Iowa, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Virginia, the innovative fundraising retailer has generated more than $308 million to aid in the American Cancer Society’s relentless search for a cure to this deadly disease.

Using thrift stores to raise money for cancer research was the brainchild of Encino housewife Denise Noel, who lost her mother to cancer, but it was not an easy sell at first. The passionate would-be philanthropist journeyed to Oakland, California to pitch her idea to the American Cancer Society office in the early sixties. Although her idea for opening a chain of high quality thrift stores, run by volunteers that would sell the gently used clothing and items to benefit cancer research was innovative, it was not immediately embraced. Noel continued to refine her idea until she ultimately received approval to open her first store in the San Fernando Valley in May 1965.

The American Cancer Society is the largest non-governmental funder of cancer research in the U.S. It has funded more than 45 Nobel Prize winners for cancer research, more than any other voluntary organization and is the biggest donor to cancer research next to the federal government. Overall, 72 percent of funds raised go to cancer research, patient support, prevention information and education, and detection and treatment.

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