Houston Comets Establish Kim's Place with $1.25 Million Donation
Facility at M. D. Anderson to Serve Teens with Cancer and Honor Kim Perrot
M. D. Anderson News Release 07/28/00
The Houston Comets will donate $1.25 million, including a substantial personal donation from Comets owner Leslie Alexander, to establish and endow Kim's Place at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, the team announced today. The Comets will partner with M. D. Anderson to create Kim's Place, a facility where adolescent cancer patients can play, learn and visit with each other and their families.
"We are proud to entrust Kim's vision to the world's leading cancer center," Alexander said. "We are confident that M. D. Anderson will be an exemplary steward for this first-of-its-kind facility dedicated to teenagers. Kim was a special member of the Comets family and an important role model for young people in our community. We believe that Kim's Place at M. D. Anderson will serve a lasting tribute to Kim Perrot and the ideals she embodied: love, compassion and an overwhelming determination not only to survive, but to be the best."
The idea to create a facility to serve young people battling cancer was inspired by the Comets' desire to honor and remember the late Comets guard. Because adolescent patients have needs unique to their age group that deserve special attention, Kim's Place was designed to centralize and expand on the important services M. D. Anderson offers to these patients.
"Adolescence is a special time of life," explained Dr. John Mendelsohn, president of M. D. Anderson. "Having cancer does not have to impede adolescent growth and social development. Throughout M. D. Anderson, we treat not just the cancer but the individual experiencing cancer. We are delighted to be partnering with the Comets to create Kim's Place - an ideal setting that will allow kids to be kids."
Kim's Place, which depicts Kim's dream of a place where those battling life-threatening illnesses can go with their families to have fun, enjoy educational activities or just relax, will be located near other patient amenities, including a coffee kiosk, gift shop and visitor lounge, in the Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital at M. D. Anderson.
Located off a light-filled atrium lobby area on the second floor of the hospital, Kim's Place will have a unique entrance designed to invite adolescent cancer patients - as well as young adults who have family members with cancer - into one location with social, educational, vocational and recreational services. It will accommodate a room for a large screen television and VCR, videos, stereo and CD equipment and couches. Kim's Place will also be used for a library/learning center with internet access, age-appropriate literature, books on tape and relaxation tapes, a kitchenette and a recreational room with foosball, air hockey and pool tables, computers for video games and M. D. Anderson's Creative Arts Program.
The $1.25 million donation is the largest single gift ever made by a WNBA team, and the Houston Rockets and Comets organization is only the second NBA/WNBA organization to donate more than one million dollars for a single charitable purpose.
"The Houston Comets have established themselves as leaders among professional sports teams, with championship players committed to winning and a championship organization committed to giving back to its community," WNBA President Val Ackerman said. "It is only fitting that the best professional women's basketball team in the world is partnering with the best cancer center in the world to carry on Kim's legacy. With their gift in excess of one million dollars, Leslie Alexander and the Houston Comets have set a standard for charitable giving that will serve to challenge the rest of our league to do great things for our fans and our communities."
Kim's Place is being established in part as a tribute to the late Kim Perrot, the Comets starting point guard on the 1997 and 1998 WNBA Championship teams. Standing at only 5'4", Perrot first came to Houston when she overcame the odds to make the inaugural Comets team through an open tryout. From that point, the Kim Perrot legend grew. She became an icon in Houston, symbolizing what drive, commitment and work ethic could mean to a person with big dreams and goals. Last summer, her courage and grace in the face of a devastating illness, inspired a community to rally behind her team and her personal battle. Kim lost her battle to lung and brain cancer on August 19, 1999 at the age of 32.
"I know Kim would be happy with the decision that has been made for the future of Kim's Place and the meaningful work that will be accomplished in her name," Loretta Perrot, sister of Kim Perrot, said. "As Kim's family, we are humbled to see her remembered in this way."
Kim's Place is expected to open in 2002. The Comets continue to accept donations for Kim's Place at 2 Greenway Plaza, Suite 400, Houston, Texas 77046.