The Väre Foundation was launched in 1992, its main purpose being to fund research into cures for leukemia, one of the primary cancers affecting children.
The Foundation was set up by Mrs. Nona Väre (d. 2000) and funded from assets created by the successful running of the wallpaper and paint company Suomen Tapetti ja Väri Oy, which was started and managed by her late husband, Commercial Counsellor Kullervo Väre. The Foundation is based in Helsinki.
One of Nona and Kullervo Väre’s children, Seppo, died of leukemia at the age of eight in 1951. The family’s first child, Marja-Leena, had died of blood poisoning at nearly three years of age in 1940. They later adopted a daughter, Hannele. The loss of two children subsequently led to a decision by Kullervo and Nona Väre to begin financially supporting medical efforts to overcome leukemia and other comparable children’s diseases. The practical setting up of the Foundation was initiated by Nona Väre, after the death of her husband in 1988.
The Foundation annually awards grants for research into and treatment of leukemia and other cancers in children, as prescribed in the Foundation’s rules and following a public application process.
Included in the assets of the Foundation are two funds that bear the names of the private persons who made the original donations: the Ester Mäkelä Pediatric Cancer Fund and the Ruth Wegelius Fund.
The Ester Mäkelä Fund is based on a bequest from Mrs. Ester Mäkelä. The Fund came into the Foundation’s ownership in 1998.
The Ruth Wegelius Fund is based on a bequest from the Finnish pioneer of children’s leukemia treatment Professor (h.c.) Ruth Wegelius, who died in 2003.
The majority of grants are awarded for medical research into leukemia in children. Grants can also be awarded for other work that promotes research into and treatment of leukemia and other cancers in children. Such work might, for example, involve arranging medical conferences. Grants can be applied for once a year in February. The Foundation distributes about 200,000 euros annually.
For those considering bequests or other donations, details are available from the Chairman of the Board.