January 12, 2023

Fait Family Charitable Trust gives $2.6 million for medical research and services

The Fait family — Leslie Farmer, Diane Zillner and Joel Fait — at American Family Children's Hospital in 2013
The Fait family — Leslie Farmer, Diane Zillner and Joel Fait — at American Family Children's Hospital in 2013

The gift supports American Family Children’s Hospital and UW Carbone Cancer Center

Madison, Wis. – In January 2022, the George A. Fait Family Charitable Trust provided $2.6 million in continued support for American Family Children’s Hospital, the UW Carbone Cancer Center and the George Fait Cardiomyopathy Research Fund.

The $2.6 million follows a $3 million gift that the family provided in September 2007. The $3 million transformational donation led to the creation of the George Fait Family Pediatric Specialty Clinics at American Family Children’s Hospital, positioning the Faits as a founding family for the children’s hospital, which opened that year.

Over the past year, part of the $2.6 million gift was designated to support the pediatric specialty clinics, which is very meaningful to UW Health Kids, according to Nikki Stafford, vice president, pediatric services and president, American Family Children’s Hospital.

“The pediatric specialty clinics are vital to the care we provide to kids in Wisconsin and beyond,” Stafford said. “The Fait family’s gifts have helped us create a space that is both state of the art and welcoming to our families.”

Another portion of the gift went to the UW Carbone Cancer Center Innovation Fund for breast cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer research.

Those donations enable experts at the University of Wisconsin to find new, lifesaving therapeutic options for cancer patients, according to Dr. Howard Bailey, director, UW Carbone.

“We rely upon generous donations like this to find more precise cancer detection methods and more effective cancer treatments,” Bailey said. “We appreciate the Fait family’s ongoing support for our work."

This donation is part of a long history of George Fait’s philanthropic dedication, according to Leslie Farmer, his daughter.

“Our father’s generous spirit was focused on improving the lives of those in his community,” Farmer said. “My brother, sister and I want to continue to honor his wishes with a contribution that will have a positive impact on patients of all ages seeking the excellent care at UW Health.”

Fait had long been a donor to many charities and funds associated with the University of Wisconsin since his graduation in 1950.

Reflecting on the origins of this support is especially meaningful this year, according to Farmer, as March will mark 10 years since Fait’s passing.

“He was invested in this work for a long time,” she said. “We’re glad we can continue to uphold that legacy.”