Ray and Denise Bojanowski

Ray and Denise Bojanowski


Ray is An Unsung Hero Against Pancreatic Cancer

Written By Debra Gelbart
July 2020

You may not know him personally but know that he is responsible for helping Seena Magowitz Foundation founder Roger Magowitz maintain the constancy of the Annual Celebration of Hope and he’s willing to help in the fight

Roger explained that when he sold his retail mattress company, Metropolitan Mattress, to Ray in 2002, when Ray was a co-owner of Mattress Discounters, Ray immediately committed to supporting the Seena Magowitz Foundation through ongoing business with mattress and accessory manufacturers.

“Ray was there early on when the Foundation could have been in trouble, but there was no hesitation from him, no second thought,” Roger said. “Ray said, ‘We’re gonna do this the same way you did it; we’re not stopping.”

“Had Ray not agreed to continue supporting the Foundation, keeping the Foundation operational would have been much more complicated,” Roger said, “because we wouldn’t have had a key corporate partner.” Ray’s support likely results in contributions to the Foundation of tens of thousands of dollars every year by many companies and individuals, Roger said.

No Expectation of Recognition

Ray is modest and says only that he attends the Celebration of Hope fundraiser every year and that he’s a “financial supporter and a friend to the Foundation.” Ray worked in the retail mattress industry for “many, many years” and says he and Roger have been friends for more than 30 years. They met while they were both working in the industry. Ray has no connection to pancreatic cancer other than having met Roger’s mother Seena, who passed away from the disease in 2001.

“Ray also helps me get connected with people when I need to get connected,” Roger said. Ray introduced Roger—through Ray’s friend Lawrence Hirson—to Johnny Clegg, the legendary South African singer and anti-apartheid activist. Clegg, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015, attended the Magowitz Foundation’s 2018 Annual Celebration of Hope in Boston and even performed for the event attendees. “Without Ray, I would never have met Johnny and Johnny would not have even known about our event,” Roger said. Clegg died in July of 2019.

Perceptions of Being An Ambassador

When asked how he views the praise given to him as an ambassador of the Foundation, Ray turns the praise around. “I am appreciative of Roger’s thoughts and feelings about my support for the Foundation but he deserves the focus. He’s been a tireless champion in the fight to find ways to detect pancreatic cancer in its earliest stages, educate people on the clinical trials that are making a difference in people’s lives and find a cure for pancreatic cancer.”

Ray, who retired eight years ago and lives in San Diego, also wants readers to understand that “it takes commitment, perseverance, dedication and action to make a difference.

The Seena Magowitz Foundation has never wavered in its focus on the goal to take great and compassionate care of people and to find a cure,” Ray said.