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Chicago Celebrates the Season for CF

December 28, 2007

Greater Illinois's All I Want for Christmas is a...Cure
Leo and AnnMarie Gubenko and their children Tommy, Nico and Isabella. 
With Chicago’s first snowfall of the season on December 1st, the weather outside was certainly frightful. But that didn’t stop 350 determined guests from attending the Greater Illinois Chapter’s second annual holiday dinner, All I Want for Christmas is a…Cure.

As holiday carolers serenaded the crowd, guests sipped “sugar plum fairy” and “mistletoe” martinis, ate a delicious dinner, and bid at the live auction for such items as a luxurious week’s stay in Aruba and a Super Bowl party for diehard football fans. But that wasn’t all. Guests lingered until midnight, when they enjoyed a late-night snack of White Castle burgers and Krispy Kreme donuts.

Throughout the evening, people with CF of different ages described the challenges of life with the disease, as well as their personal victories. Valerie Batz, a 48-year-old, spoke of a very full life that included being a lifeguard, raising twins and undergoing a double lung transplant. Kevin D’Agostino, a 21-year-old, described his high school adventures competing in a triathlon and wrestling, and his current pursuits in nursing school. In his Bid for a Cure, nine-year-old Nico Gubenko got straight to the point. “I just don’t want to have CF anymore,” he said. “So let’s find that cure—and fast!” 

Event co-chair Deo Cerrone, whose company Futures International LLC sponsored the event, echoed Nico’s sentiments. “Tonight we celebrate CF families, friends and community members uniting together with a single mission—to find a cure for CF,” he said. “It’s all about hope for the future.”

The evening raised an impressive $164,061 for the CF Foundation.

Many thanks go to the “Miracle Mission” event committee, including Deo and Gina Cerrone, Leo and AnnMarie Gubenko, Santo Anzaldi and LeeAnna Cameron, Nikki and Chrissy Cameron, and Ernie and Darlene Cameron. Thanks, too, to corporate sponsor Futures International, LLC.


The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.