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Readers' Letters: Meet Knight's challenge; pony up $100

The naysayers already are informing Oregonians that we don’t have the financial capacity or commitment to match Phil Knight’s $500 million gift to cure cancer (Who Gives?, Oct. 17). Others suggest each of us should contribute only $10 each or that Oregon Health & Science University should seek millions of dollars from wealthy individuals from outside Oregon.

Oregonians demand the best from themselves, and I expect we will match Knight’s generous gift within a few months. To achieve this goal, I propose each of us contribute $100 for every person living in our household. This will get us close to $400 million in matching funds.

Those of you who have relatives, friends or neighbors who might be financially challenged to make the $100 contribution could increase your own gift to cover one or more of those folks. This gift will no doubt be difficult for some of us, but anything we do that is significant often is difficult. However, by using a credit card to fund our gift we can meet the challenge right now, today.

Knight’s challenge to match this gift is not a Portland thing or a wealthy people’s thing; rather it’s an opportunity to solve a major health issue. The benefits of funding $1 billion for research will be more high-paying jobs, a renewed emphasis on learning and research, and a significant increase in the stature of Oregon and OHSU. I also challenge the Blazers’ owner, Paul Allen, to match the amount Oregonians contribute.

To make your gift, go to /www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/foundation and click on “give now” located within the “$1 billion cancer challenge” story, or phone in your gift at 503-228-1730 or 800-462-6608. After gifting, tweet to let others know you accepted the Knight Challenge.

Bob Peterson

Northeast Portland