Project Purple announces grant, new fund


BEACON FALLS — This summer has been a busy one for Project Purple.

In July, the nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to raising awareness and funds toward a cure for pancreatic cancer, celebrated the grand opening of its new office on North Main Street. This month, the nonprofit created the Rochanne Hackett Fund at Project Purple and funded a $150,000 research grant.

The Rochanne Hackett Fund was established in honor of Rochanne Hackett, who worked for Wells Fargo Bank in the Native American Gaming Division. She died from pancreatic cancer in 2014 at the age of 62.

“This fund will directly support critical research being done that has the potential to help us find a cure. We are extremely grateful to the family for the generous gift to our mission,” said Project Purple founder and CEO Dino Verrelli in a press release.

The fund will support the work of Dr. Eugene Koay of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Koay is the recipient of a $150,000 research grant from Project Purple. The grant will support pancreatic cancer research towards better quantitative image analysis for early detection of pancreatic cancer, the press release stated. The grant was made possible in part by the Rochanne Hackett fund.

“This grant is once again a testament to our mission in helping to find a cure of pancreatic cancer while working with some of the top scientists in the world,” Verrelli stated in the press release. “We are thankful to the Hackett family for their support of our mission and for the team at MD Anderson working on this project in hopes of progress with this disease.”

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