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GM Foundation Donates $400,000 to Cancer Research

Mary and Tony Barra to Chair Karmanos Cancer Institute's 30th Annual Dinner April 28

The General Motors Foundation is donating $400,000 to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, bringing to nearly $6 million the foundation’s support over the last 15 years.

Jeffrey Johnson, director, GM Health and Welfare Programs (left), and Karmanos’ 2012 Annual Dinner Chairs Mary and Tony Barra (far right), present GM Foundation check to Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Nick Karmanos, senior VP, Institutional Relations; and Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO.

Separately, GM Senior Vice President of Global Product Development Mary Barra and her husband, Tony, president of Filament Consulting, will chair the Institute’s 30th Annual Dinner on April 28. The Barras follow GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson and his wife, Karin, who chaired the event in 2011, when more than $868,000 was raised for cancer research.

A 33-year veteran of GM, Barra is responsible for leading the design, engineering and quality of new vehicles for GM across the globe. She was recently named one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes magazine.

“We’re very happy to have the support of Mary and Tony Barra as chairs of this year’s dinner to support cancer research,” said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D. president and chief executive officer, Karmanos Cancer Institute. “We’re incredibly grateful for the unprecedented commitment from GM and the GM Foundation. Thanks to all of our supporters, we are developing the next standard of cancer care that will be used around the world.”

Health and human services is one of four key focus areas for the foundation.

“The GM Foundation’s grant will help Karmanos continue the important fight against cancer,” said foundation President Vivian Pickard. “We are fortunate to have this leading organization serving our Michigan communities and we are committed to making this year’s annual dinner a success.” 

General Motors is the Host Sponsor of this year’s dinner, which will be held at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Mich. The Presenting Sponsor is Compuware Corporation; and the Executive Sponsors are Johnson Controls and Lil and Alex Erdeljan.

“Tony and I are honored to be able to build upon the success of last year’s event by chairing the 2012 Annual Dinner,” said Barra. “The opportunity to serve an organization that is dedicated to eradicating cancer is a special privilege for us.” 

Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities for the dinner should contact Maureen Bender at 313-576-8111 or To reserve tickets, please contact Lisa Koltunchik at 313-576-8106 or

About the General Motors Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to deserving American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit

About General Motors

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at

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