In 2002, the members of Oakleaf Club of Greater Washington, DC undertook a major benevolent project in memory of Mary Jane Sanford, wife of retired RADM Frederic G. Sanford, who was known for her commitment and great support for benevolent activities of many Oakleaf Clubs at worldwide Navy Medical facilities.
The purpose of the fund is to supplement the benevolent activities of the Oakleaf Club to support the Club’s primary goals to meet special requested needs by the Bethesda staff for our wounded warriors and patients being treated at the National Naval Medical Center now known as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Since 2004, the fund has been supporting the Annual Cancer Art Show, known today as the Healing Arts Exhibit at the hospital.
Planned by the staff, the Art Exhibit provides an opportunity for patients each year in October to exhibit their artwork created during their treatments.
The 8th Cancer Art Show in 2011 featured 30 quilts along with other works of art made by breast cancer patients. The quilts were hung permanently in the Breast Care Center, Hematology-Oncology Clinic and the inpatient ward 5W. The successful Art Show was sponsored by the Oakleaf Club and Mary Jane Sanford Fund and was held for the first time in the America Building.
In 2012 the Annual Cancer Art Show was renamed the Healing Arts Exhibit and expanded to include art created by wounded warriors and all patients.