Grand Junction, Colo.,
15:41 PM

Prinsters create first general oncology endowment at St. Mary’s

The Prinsters

When philanthropists Tony and Sally Prinster set their sights on strengthening the oncology department at St. Mary's Medical Center, they did something remarkable. In the summer of 2023, they established the Anthony F & Sally Prinster Oncology Endowed Fund with a bequest that included a $200,000 match from the St. Mary’s Foundation. This is the first general oncology endowment at St. Mary's and will be used to ensure continuous resources for cancer care.  

Tony and Sally are lifelong residents of Western Colorado. Tony was born in Grand Junction in 1941 at the original St. Mary’s Hospital. Sally grew up on her family’s hunting and fishing lodge on the White River near Meeker, Colorado. They were married in 1965. 

The Prinsters have spent their lives in the service of others. Throughout the decades Tony and Sally have supported St. Mary’s mission and they believe that supporting St. Mary’s, whether by financial means or with a gift of time and effort, can enhance all lives in Western Colorado. 

Throughout his career, Tony has been active in professional and community organizations including serving on the Board of St. Mary’s Hospital and the Board of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health Services Corporation. 

Sally has also been active in the community. She joined St. Mary’s Auxiliary working on fundraising projects in the years before the creation of what is now the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation. She organized and chaired the yearly Christmas Tree Gala Auctions and supported other endeavors at the hospital. 

At 49 years old, Sally was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy and beat cancer, but 15 years later it came back and had metastasized into her lymph nodes. She got chemotherapy, radiation, infusions and surgery at St. Mary’s. She is now living cancer-free. 

“I had the most amazing care at St. Mary’s,” said Sally. “The oncologists, doctors and nurses were incredible, and I’m beyond grateful for them. That was one of the major drivers of the endowment. The way cancer has touched our lives and the lives of our friends and families made it important for us to support the oncology work at St. Mary’s.” 

The Prinsters were recently honored with the Sister Michael Award for Philanthropists of Year for their unwavering commitment to St. Mary’s healing mission. Sister Michael spent much of her life in the healthcare ministry and served many years as president and CEO at St. Mary’s, and she formally established the St. Mary’s Foundation. 

“Throughout the years, we worked with and watched the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth work with humility, dedication and perseverance,” said Sally. “We were very humbled and honored to receive the award. We’re so grateful that we’re able to give back to a place that’s given so much to our community.” 

“Sally and I are proud to be lifelong supporters of St. Mary’s and its mission to provide quality healthcare for the region, Tony said. “We’ve been beneficiaries of the services St. Mary’s has provided over many years and this is our way of giving back to help future generations.”