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Vera Bradley group vows $15 million gift

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer on Thursday announced a $15 million pledge to support breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

The new pledge will add to the previous $20 million in commitments completed in November 2013 and will continue to fund the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories, named for the foundation in 2010.

Completion of this pledge will bring the total giving to IU Simon Cancer Center to $35 million.

“We strongly believe in the research team’s focus: precision therapeutics,” said Catherine Hill, executive director of Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer recently completed its 2013 fiscal year, raising $2.7 million. The foundation’s main benefactor is Fort Wayne-based Vera Bradley Inc., which contributes about $1 million each year to the cause. Additional support comes from several sources including events and individual donations.

Vera Bradley’s co-founders began raising money for a cure after the loss of a friend to the disease in 1993.

The foundation in June announced its annual Breast Cancer Classic in Fort Wayne raised $1,047,235 – an all-time high in its 20th year.