CART stands for Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust and has donated $5 million for research towards a cure and/or prevention for Alzheimer’s disease.
The Sumter Rotary Club started CART in 1995 with the simple idea that Rotarians would contribute pocket change when attending weekly meetings. Furthermore, CART by-laws require that 100% of all contributions must go to research.
We were so successful that in 1996 CART was adopted as a District 7770-wide project. Since then all the other S.C. districts, all 6 districts in N.C., and all 3 Georgia districts adopted the CART project. Recently, Rotarians in parts of Virginia, Florida and Tennessee have also committed to actively fund CART.
The scientific community now considers CART as one of the leading providers of seed money for cutting edge, high impact research funds. Our District made its first grant of $100,000 to the Emory University Alzheimer’s Research Center in April 1999. Since then, CART has awarded more than 25 major grants averaging $200,000 to research centers through a competitive process led by highly qualified scientists.
These grants are highly coveted and we have had as many as 81 applicants in one year from research centers in 44 states. Among the recognized research centers to receive grants are Emory, UCLA, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, John Hopkins, Kentucky, Penn, Mass General, Case Western Reserve, UAB UConn, Texas Medical Center, Washington University at St. Louis, Washington University at Seattle, Boston University, Cedars Sinai in L.A., and Wisconsin-Madison.
The Fund has been honored by organizations and individuals outside of Rotary including at a Symposium given in CART’s honor by some of the world’s leading Alzheimer’s scientists in July 2004. The Secretary of State of S.C. has also named CART as the No. 1 “Angel” because we give 100% of all donated funds to research, and in 2006 the Governor of S. C. named June 22 as CART Fund Day across the state.
The Sumter Club leads all other clubs in all districts in total dollars donated to CART. We are extremely proud that this worthy project started in our club.