CSF was founded in 1987 by Connecticut native John Ellis, former major league baseball player and cancer survivor to provide economic assistance and compassionate financial aid to cancer patients and their families in his home state.

Through the CT Cancer Patient Assistance Program, CSF is able to help Connecticut families requesting assistance through referrals from oncology social workers from hospitals, cancer treatment centers and hospices throughout the state. For the past 29 years, CSF has quietly granted over $4 million to more than 4,000 Connecticut families dealing with the financial hardship that often comes along with a cancer diagnosis. In addition, the Foundation has donated close to $2 million to support ongoing cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

To enhance fundraising efforts, CSF has developed Art and Music Programs; Creative arts therapies have been found to significantly reduce anxiety, depression, and pain and improve the quality of life in cancer patients. Art and Music contributions, like its 30 year sports program will help fund more families and bring a new audience to CSF’s fundraising initiatives.



CONNECTICUT SPORTS FOUNDATION (CSF) was founded in 1987 by Connecticut native John C. Ellis, a former catcher for the New York Yankees who played major league baseball for thirteen years. John lost a sister, a brother, and a sister-in -law to lymphoma. He is a survivor of a very bulky stage III Hodgkin lymphoma that was diagnosed before John reached 40. John was treated, almost thirty years ago, with extensive radiation alone. No chemotherapy. Fortunately, John survived and CSF was born, with the idea of raising funds through sports with the help of sports celebrities. CSF has been operating for 29 years under the guidance of John's wife, Jane G. Ellis, President and Executive Director of CSF.

CSF began its fundraising efforts in 1988, kicking off its first gala fundraiser with baseball legends, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Billy Martin where Mickey stated: "I hope this Foundation goes on forever". Over the years, many of MLB's greatest stars, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Hank Aaron along with many others attended the gala to help build CSF's success to date. CSF is one of the only organizations in Connecticut that provides financial assistance directly to cancer patients and is still going strong. For the past 29 years, through its Cancer Assistance Program, CSF has granted over $4 million to more than 4,000 Connecticut families facing financial hardship that often follows a cancer diagnosis.

In 1992, CSF began supporting lymphoma research with a $10,000 grant to John's radiation oncologist- Dr. Joachim Yahalom.  The commitment to support research has continued for the last 25 years, providing generous funding of close to $2 million to support ongoing cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center under the direction of Dr. Joachim Yahalom.

CSF Milestones




First Celebrity Dinner 1988