Great Strides Reports Record Success

May 22, 2007

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Some marched through the Mural Amphitheatre, minutes from busy downtown Seattle. Others walked around New Jersey’s Point Pleasant Park. There were walkers in Schaumburg, Ill.; Houston and Cleveland and hundreds of other towns in between. Throughout the weekend of May 19-20, tens of thousands of walkers across the country—donning their TEAM CF T-shirts—came together to make Great Strides a nationwide community event.

In its 19th year, Great Strides: Taking Steps to Cure Cystic Fibrosis continues to expand, drawing families affected by the disease, local businesses and major corporations, and new devoted friends to the CF cause.

Key to this year’s growth was the national support of great corporate partners. Outstanding Corporate Partner American Airlines® continued its commitment to support the Foundation, vowing to help until a cure is found, while National Corporate Partner Solvay Pharmaceuticals increased its generous Great Strides sponsorship! In addition, both Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Gilead Sciences brought their commitment from the laboratory to the sidewalks by signing on as National Corporate Partners for 2007. Airgas Puritan Medical and Foresters also remained steadfast in their vital support of Great Strides.  

There were many other successes across the country. Throughout the east coast, Kohl’s Department Stores joined the fight against CF, holding in-store fund-raisers and creating their own walk teams.

Inspired by their 2-year-old daughter, Ella, Lindsay and Jon Deveaux of Oregon truly created a national Great Strides community by asking their friends to form their own teams. They now have 12 Ella's Elite teams scattered throughout the United States. 

With the support of the Foundation’s dedicated volunteers, many of whom are continuing their fund-raising efforts, Great Strides will raise more than $34 million—a 10 percent increase from 2006. Much of the growth can be attributed to a phenomenal year in online fund-raising, which made it easy for walkers to raise money before Great Strides and quickly reach busy friends and colleagues through e-mail. In fact, the Foundation received an all-time high in online contributions on May 18 and received more than $2 million so far in May alone—proving the tremendous impact of online fund-raising in helping the Foundation achieve its mission.  

Thanks to everyone’s generosity and dedication to Great Strides, the Foundation can continue to support critical research that will help ensure that all people with cystic fibrosis will have long and healthy lives.