CLINTON / OLD SAYBROOK / WESTBROOK —
More than 30 years ago, John Ellis, an entrepreneur and former Major League Baseball player, made a promise: If he beat cancer, he would devote his life to helping others facing cancer diagnoses. He may not have realized that his wife, Jane Ellis, would devote herself to fulfilling that promise, too. But she has.
For 31 years, Jane has run the Connecticut Cancer Foundation (CCF), formerly the Connecticut Sports Foundation, as its CEO and president, raising funds to help those facing a cancer diagnosis with seemingly small gestures: money to help pay the rent or the mortgage, to buy groceries, or pay the heating bill.
CCF’s grants average around $600 with a maximum set by its Board of Directors at $2,000, but those relatively small amounts can make a difference to a family struggling to pay the bills. And as the foundation grows, it is expanding its ability to provide larger sums to those with greater need.