Our Story

Summit Bank Foundation was founded in 1998 by Shirley Nelson and a group of dedicated business professionals under the direction of Summit Bank. The Foundation was established to develop and promote financial literacy programs throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, support general education endeavors throughout the East Bay, and to recognize and encourage corporate volunteerism and support of the nonprofit community. In 2013, the Foundation expanded its core focus from financial literacy and education to include health.

Our Mission

To garner funds in support of research at the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Research Center. To aid doctors in finding a cure and provide financial assistance for innovation and progressive research. To provide scholarships to students who have overcome adversity in their journey for success in education.

Cancer Research – 2013 to Present

UCSF Helan Diller Comprehensive Cancer Research Center

In 2013, the Foundation began supporting cancer research at UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Research Center and has established Cancer Research Funds to aid doctors in pursuing a cure for cancer. Inspired by the tremendously skilled physicians at UCSF who helped her win her courageous battle with cancer, Shirley Nelson remains committed to supporting the research that will help find a cure for cancer.

Summit Bank Foundation has funded clinical trials for lymphoma, breast cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and multiple myeloma. These trials have been led by Wei Ai, MD, PhD, Oncologist, Clinical Associate Profession; Mark Moasser, MD Oncologist, Professor, Gabriel Mannis, MD, Hematologist/ Oncologist, Assistant Professor; and Thomas Martin, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Adult Leukemia and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, and Associate Director, Myeloma Program at UCSF Helen Diller Cancer Research Center.

Scholarship Funds – 2005 to Present

(Left) Shirley Nelson, Scholarship Recipient – Alexandra Bridgett, Joe Morgan, Scholarship Recipient – Lathen Gibbs (Right)

In 2005, the Foundation shifted its focus and established the Bill Russell Scholarship Fund. The fund provides four year scholarships to students from Bill Russell’s alma mater McClymond’s High School. The recipients of his scholarship fund and our other funds have overcome adversity in their journey for education. They are given the opportunity to attend a four-year college, to help them pursue their desired profession.

The Foundation continued to support more students by establishing more scholarships funds honoring members of our community. In 2010, the Joe Morgan Scholarship Fund was established to benefit a student from his alma Castlemont High School, in Oakland. Other members of the community we honor are James Falaschi, Eddie R. Orton and Vida Blue.

In 2017, the Foundation will establish the David J Casper Athletic Scholarship Fund to benefit a student attending Bishop O’ Dowd High School in East Oakland. Casper is a retired Oakland Raider, long time supporter of the foundation and community supporter. Our six scholarship funds will continue to provide twelve scholarships to students each year. These scholarships will go on in perpetuity.

ABCs of Financial Literacy Program – 1998 to 2006

ABCs of Financial Literacy Program – 1998 to 2006

Summit Bank Foundation produced and sponsored a program called the ABCs of Financial Literacy from 1998 to 2006. This program promoted financial responsibility and the application of math skills to everyday money matters in a fun and educational environment. Students learned the basics that consisted of: writing checks, balancing a checkbook, using credit cards, and knowing the difference of needs versus wants.

The Foundation provided comprehensive K – 12 grade specific curriculums, lesson plans and a weekly set of newspapers at no cost to the students and educators who participated in the program. The financial literacy program had been implemented in 425 elementary, junior high and high school classrooms, reaching approximately 50,000 students throughout the Bay Area.