The BWRF is a not-for-profit corporation whose proceeds are directed to cancer research. In 2002, the foundation contributed 10% of its funds to the Oncology Research Fund for Dr. Max Haid, who is conducting studies at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center in Sheboygan, WI. Dr. Haid was the oncologist who treated Bob Whitman at the end of his life. Max was a neighbor and guitar teacher to both Bob and his older brother Richard before he became a doctor. He treated Bob with honesty and compassion, and has been conducting cancer research for many years.
A secondary goal of the BWRF is to provide support for families with children who have chronic disabling disorders. The foundation contributed 10% of its funds to Chai Lifeline Chicago – Fighting Illness With Love – an “internationally renowned not-for-profit organization that provides social, emotional and psychosocial support to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, their families and communities.”
Additionally, BWRF is dedicated to the cause of finding effective treatments for melanoma cancers. Bob was diagnosed with Primary Metastatic Melanoma of the Esophagus (PMME) in May of 1999. He had surgery to remove his esophagus, had some intensive chemotherapy, underwent gamma knife brain radiation, and died on November 12, 1999. The swiftness of his journey from diagnosis to death has deepened the resolve of BWRF to fund research for melanoma cancer. There is a strong incidence of melanoma cancer within Bob’s family. It is in the third generation now, and this fact fuels the foundation to seek out promising research in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma cancer. With this goal in mind, BWRF has earmarked 30% of its proceeds to be directed towards melanoma research. The board of directors is actively pursuing this goal, and will soon grant this amount to the most worthy research study.
In 2012, the Bob Whitman Research Foundation Board of Directors decided to fine tune their proposed grants. They voted to give 80% of the funds raised at Bobfest annually to Melanoma Research. The remaining 20% will be directed to other organizations. Actually, 10% to organizations which provide support to families with chronic illness, and 10% to research towards a cure for other types of cancer (besides melanoma).