The Sontag Foundation Donates $1 Million to Arthritis Research

The kindness and generosity of the American spirit is alive and well in the Sontag family. Originally from Southern California, Rick and Susan Sontag are working quietly to improve the lives of millions around the country.


Together they preside over The Sontag Foundation, a private family foundation based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. For the past eleven years, The Sontag Foundation has partnered with the Arthritis National Research Foundation to completely fund a rheumatoid arthritis research grant.


A luncheon to honor Rick and Susan’s commitment to arthritis research was held on September 30th at the Long Beach Yacht Club.


Moved by the luncheon in their honor, Rick and Susan had a surprise of their own. “You have to come to us every year, requesting our support,” began Rick Sontag. “Instead of coming to us each year, Susan and I would like to bring you one check when we come out for the luncheon – for $1 million!”


“A gift of this size ensures there will be a Sontag Foundation Fellow for Rheumatoid Arthritis Research in perpetuity,” said Arthritis National Research Foundation board of director’s President, Kevin Donohue<. “This funding will enable us to support more arthritis research towards a cure.”


“My mother suffered the devastating effects of rheumatoid arthritis for over 35 years and it finally ended her life,” said Rick, explaining his family’s heartbreaking connection to this autoimmune disease.


Rick and Susan Sontag still have a special affinity for Long Beach and Southern California as both grew up there and are graduates of Woodrow Wilson High School, class of 1960. Close with their family, Rick and Susan return frequently to visit the many family members and friends who still reside in Long Beach.

Rick and Susan Sontag alongside ANRF Executive Director,
Helene Belisle & former ANRF President, Kevin Donohue

The Sontag’s built a business, raised three children and currently reside in Ponte Vedra Beach. After the sale of their business in 2002, Rick and Susan turned full-time to philanthropy — funding cutting-edge brain cancer and rheumatoid arthritis research and improving lives for those less fortunate than they in their northeast Florida community.


“ANRF’s Scientific Advisory Board conducts the in-depth reviews of the applicants,” said Rick Sontag. “Once they’ve decided who deserves the research funding, we do our own internal review and choose which ANRF rheumatoid arthritis project and scientist we will support.”


Two Sontag Foundation Fellows of the Arthritis National Research Foundation were in attendance at the September 30th luncheon. Iannis Adamopoulos, PhD, of the University of California, Davis, and Joyce Wu, PhD, of the University of Arizona both gave descriptions of the research funded by the Arthritis National Research Foundation and The Sontag Foundation.


Rick and Susan Sontag have come full circle back to their Long Beach roots by supporting a locally-based nonprofit with a national scope working to make a difference in the lives of 50 million Americans afflicted with arthritis. The Sontag’s gift will positively impact science into the future, potentially funding the next breakthrough for new treatments and a cure.


“The Arthritis National Research Foundation is an efficient steward of charitable dollars invested in arthritis research grants,” continued Sontag, “That’s why we are proud to partner with ANRF to fund cutting-edge research.”


To join the Sontag’s in supporting this exciting research you may make online donations or donate money by mail. Your tax deductible donations will go a long way in helping the estimated 50 million Americans afflicted.