In 2007, the Milestones to a Cure campaign had its best year, recording more than $32 million in gifts and pledges and fueling exciting developments in the CF Foundation's drug discovery and development pipeline. This brings total campaign commitments to $126 million. At a recent Milestones strategy meeting in Palo Alto, Calif., Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Foundation, shared highlights in therapeutics development with key donors in the Western chapters.
"This is a tremendously exciting time in our work to find new treatments and a cure for this disease," Beall noted. "Right now we have more than 30 potential drugs in our pipeline, and the first oral drugs to directly treat the core defect in CF are in clinical trials." This progress, Beall stressed, "would not be possible without the support of the Milestones to a Cure campaign."
To keep the campaign's momentum strong and to expand its footprint, the Foundation is continuing to recruit donors at the $50,000 and $100,000 levels through the Milestones Club, which attracted many new members in 2007 and the first half of 2008. Moreover, the number of active Chapter-level major gifts committees is on the rise and committees are hard at work pursuing donations.
Rick Bryan, chair of the major gifts committee of the Western New York Chapter, is a leader in this effort. Bryan, whose daughter KC has CF, set to work contributing his great personal energy and extended professional contacts to achieve support of the Foundation's mission. "As headmaster of an independent school, I do a great deal of fund-raising, so it seemed natural for me to become involved with major giving in our Chapter," Bryan said.
Byran recently helped to secure a $500,000 commitment from the James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that advances medical science, research and education, at the local level in Western New York. Serving on that Foundation's Board of Directors, Bryan saw an opportunity to make a national statement, and was able to convince his fellow directors to "think nationally."
According to Milestones to a Cure campaign Chair Joe O' Donnell, "Our Chapters' major giving committees are essential to our efforts to increase the momentum of the Milestones campaign. With their able support, I have no doubt that we will reach our goal of $175 million well in advance of the 2010 target."