$300,000 from Hugo keeps our research rolling

Philanthropist Hugh Green first started donating to worthy causes over 50 years ago.

We rely on the dedication and kindness of donors to keep our work going. So we were thrilled to recently receive a very large and generous donation of $300,000 from the Hugo Charitable Trust. We’ll put this money towards our cancer clinical study programme.

Hugo — a charity in memory of a man named Hugh

The Hugo Charitable Trust is named after Hugh Green, an Irishman who built a successful Kiwi career in farming, civil construction, and property development. Hugh was also a philanthropist for much of his life. He started donating to worthy causes over 50 years ago, spurred by memories of the poverty of his childhood in Ireland.

‘When I was young, if you had a good pair of boots, and a good pair of socks, and a feed, that was it … there’d be no such thing as pyjamas, or toothpaste, or any of that jazz … you had just nothing.’

Hugh Green, sitting on the right at the front, growing up with his siblings in Raphoe, County Donegal, Ireland. Hugh was the fourth of eight children.

Hugo Charitable Trust was established in 2017 by Maryanne Green, Hugh’s eldest daughter, in memory of her late father. The pair worked side by side for 25 years, in both business and philanthropy, and developed their values and areas of interest together. Now, continuing that legacy, Hugo donates to a wide range of causes, including education, social assistance programmes, and medical research.

In its first year of giving, Hugo donated over $3 million to 72 New Zealand charities. Around half of this total went to medical research.

One of Hugo’s aims is to ‘add value with new ways, new ideas and new directions’. This makes the trust a perfect match with the GMRI — we aim to treat cancer by focusing on new ways instead of on what’s been done for the last 100 years.

When the Hugo team met the GMRI team

Julia Hunter, donations manager at Hugo, says it’s always important to look at whether an organisation they’re considering donating to is a good fit for the trust’s charitable purposes. The team at Hugo do their background research, but there’s nothing like meeting face to face and getting to know each other.

‘After spending a few hours with someone, you get a feel for the commitment and passion that you’re looking for,’ Julia says.

At GMRI, we love sharing what we do. We very much enjoyed welcoming the Hugo team down from Auckland and showing them round our Wellington lab. They talked to Executive Director Dr Swee Tan, our lab technicians, and our PhD student to understand exactly what we’re doing and what our goals are.

The Hugo team asked us about how we collaborate with others, both in New Zealand and overseas, what we’ve been publishing in journals, and which conferences we’ve been presenting at. They were also interested to hear who else has supported us in the past, and of course they wanted to hear from our governance board.

We really enjoyed the personal and diligent way the Hugo team made sure the GMRI was a good fit for them. And we’re thrilled with their generous donation of $300,000. ‘We are very grateful for Hugo’s commitment and sincerely thank all of the people involved for their support,’ says Dr Tan.

Find out more about Hugo Charitable Trust

Hugo is always on the lookout for good causes to support. Find out more on the Hugo website.

Who Hugo supports

Hugo’s 2017–18 Annual Report

Donate to the GMRI

We’re always looking for philanthropic, corporate, and other donations so we can continue our important work. You can make one-off or regular donations, or you could even consider making us a beneficiary of your estate or family trust.

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