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Arkansas Gala for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: A Recipe for Success

November 6, 2008

Take a great cause, a night of awards celebrating that cause and a moving Bid for a Cure. Mix in the auction of a golden retriever pup and a prize trip to the Kentucky Derby. What have you got? A recipe for success at the Arkansas Chapter’s first annual Breath of Life Gala, which raised $55,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Details That Made a Difference

Ron Choate of Claremore, Okla., his brother and honoree Larry and Mitzi Choate enjoy the Arkansas Chapter's Breath of Life Gala.
Ron Choate of Claremore, Okla., his brother and honoree Larry and Mitzi Choate enjoy the Arkansas Chapter's Breath of Life Gala.

At the Doubletree Guest Suites in Little Rock, 280 guests enjoyed a fabulous night of cocktails, fine dining and exciting auctions, capped off by an awards ceremony honoring devoted volunteers.

The Breath of Life Award for exceptional dedication to the fight against CF went to Larry Choate, President and CEO of event sponsor Arvest Bank. Named Great Strides Corporate Partner of the Year, Arvest assembled nine walk teams and helped raise $36,000 for CF research in 2008.

Bid for a Cure speakers Burton “Chip” Stacy Jr. and his son Burton “Trey” Stacy III spoke earnestly about Trey’s tough daily regimen to treat CF. “I’m committed to doing whatever it takes to raise awareness and money for CF research,” said Chip, “so that Trey and the thousands of other children with CF can someday live a healthy, normal life.” The Bid alone raised $10,000.

“We were celebrating a year of many accomplishments, including the opening of a CF clinic in Northwest Ark., the start of the Arkansas Newborn Screening Program and remarkable fund-raising,” said event co-chair and Board member Robb Fiser. “We’ve seen a 72 percent increase in special events income over the last year.”

Thanks a Million

Many thanks go to the event’s corporate sponsors:

  • Arvest Bank
  • Arkansas Children’s Hospital
  • Fabulous Events
  • Fulton Press, Inc.

A boatload of thanks to our wonderful volunteers:

  • Barbara Farnam
  • Mimi Gavigan
  • Eric Herget
  • Misty Krug-Pitchford
  • April Pennington
  • Diana Smithson
  • Melissa Stanley
  • Thomas Wilkins

And a very special thank you to State Representative Daryl Pace who was masterful as our auctioneer, and to Tom Brannon of Today’s THV who wowed the crowd as Master of Ceremonies.


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