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Guests Elect to Cure Cystic Fibrosis at DC Chapter’s
Breath of Life Gala

November 7, 2008

Hitchcock Humanitarian Award honorees Meg and Brent Pratt, with daughter-in-law Chelsea, are pleased to accept the award at the DC Chapter's Breath of Life Gala.
Hitchcock Humanitarian Award honorees Meg and Brent Pratt, with daughter-in-law Chelsea, are pleased to accept the award at the DC Chapter's Breath of Life Gala.

Just three days before the presidential election, more than 700 guests at the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Chapter's Breath of Life Gala voted a unanimous “yes”—to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.

At the magnificent evening of gourmet food, elegant surroundings, and celebrity appearances, the enthusiastic crowd raised close to $3.2 million on behalf of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

A million little details made it a night to remember, from the trumpet fanfare as guests entered the dining room of the stately National Building Museum, to the 14-foot banners of children and adults with CF, a poignant reminder of what the evening was all about.

At the cocktail reception, guests strolled by the “Hall of Fame,” viewing auction items signed by sports legends such as Olympic gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps, Baseball Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra and former Yankees first baseman, Don Mattingly, as well as Washington Redskins tight-end Chris Cooley.
A Night of Tributes

It was a night of tributes to individuals who have steadfastly supported the CF Foundation’s quest for a cure. This year, the prestigious Hitchcock Humanitarian Award was presented to longtime Foundation friends Brent and Meg Pratt, whose grandchildren Ben, age 7, and Lauren, age 4, have cystic fibrosis. The annual award goes to an outstanding member of the community in honor of Alfred Hitchcock’s great granddaughter Melissa, who had CF.

In addition, 60 Minutes reporter and the evening’s Master of Ceremonies Scott Pelley received the CF Foundation Award of Excellence—and a standing ovation—for his tremendous dedication to and support of the Foundation’s mission.

Perhaps the most poignant moment came when Pam Stewart, who lost her 15-year-old daughter, Megan, to CF just last year, delivered the Bid for a Cure speech to encourage donations. Pam spoke of this year’s Great Strides walk, and the bench along the walk route that was dedicated to Megan. It included an inscription about Megan, which read, in part, “…An avid equestrian, athlete and reader, she was surrounded by friends as her shyness always gave way to laughter and a wide smile…Her love of life lives on in our hearts. We walk so others like Megan can share in her spirit for a full and happy life.”

Thanks a Million

"The outpouring of support from both the Washington, D.C. community and around the nation has been truly inspiring" said Donald C. Wood, gala chair and president and CEO of Federal Realty Investment Trust, based in Rockville, Md.  "In tough economic times, people are far more discerning with their charitable giving. I'm positive that the amazing progress in adding years of life to CF patients as demonstrated by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation along with its proven efficiency has contributed greatly to our fund-raising success."

Special thanks also go to Ridgewells Caterers, Exquisite Floral Design, IEP and Syzygy for topping off the night’s celebration with the ever-popular Club Breathe.


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