Kuni Foundation sets up $50M cancer research fund

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The Kuni foundation has joined with a Vancouver partner to create a new $50 million fund to support cancer and other medical research. The Wayne D. Kuni and Joan D. Kuni Foundation and Community Foundation for Southwest Washington are setting up the new fund, which will also be used to enhance the lives of developmentally disabled adults.

“Working with the community foundation, we’ll be able to use their resources to identify programs that meet our mission,” said Carolyn Miller, board chair of the Kuni Foundation.

The Vancouver-based foundation is one of the largest private charitable foundations in Washington. Wayne Kuni, who died of cancer more than a decade ago, had planned to give his ownership interest in Kuni Automotive to a private foundation.

Since 2006, the Kuni Foundation has made more than $19 million in grants for medical research and to help developmentally disabled adults.

It previously donated $5 million to the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University and funded the construction and operation of Stephen’s Place, an adult care home for adults with developmental disabilities.

Wayne Kuni founded Kuni Automotive 35 years ago as a Cadillac dealership in Beaverton, growing steadily to operate locations five states. In July, the dealership was sold to Holman Automotive of Maple Shade, New Jersey.

The move created a company that’s expected to more collect than $3 billion in annual revenue and operate 40 dealership franchises and 19 brands at 34 locations.

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