Denver's Breath of Life Gala Raises Record High for CF Foundation

January 7, 2009

 Aron Accurso
Aron Accurso, Broadway pianist and son of Frank Accurso, M.D., delivers a special performance in his father's honor.

Not only is Denver known as the “Mile-High City,” but the spirits of the 440 guests at the Colorado Chapter’s Breath of Life Gala in November were extra elevated as well.

The fabulous night of dinner, dancing, and special honors to a celebrated Denver physician raised a Colorado record high of $625,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The centerpiece of the evening at the Hyatt Regency Denver was the presentation of the Breath of Life Award to Frank Accurso, M.D., CF Foundation Board of Trustees member and Director of the CF Center at the University of Colorado Children’s Hospital.

In presenting the award, CF Foundation President and CEO Robert J. Beall, Ph.D. noted Dr. Accurso’s exemplary leadership on the Foundation’s Board, his clinical contribution to the development of hypertonic saline and his key role as principal investigator on the Phase 2 study of VX-770—the first oral drug to address the basic defect in CF.

“We are a better organization because of Frank,” said Beall, “and we are closer to achieving our ultimate mission—a cure for CF—because of him.”     

 Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., President and CEO of the CF Foundation, presents the  Breath of Life Award to Frank Accurson, M.D. at the Colorado Chapter's Breath of Life Gala.
Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation, presents the  Breath of Life Award to Frank Accurso, M.D. at the Colorado Chapter's  Breath of Life Gala.

Details That Made a Difference

Small personal touches made the night both memorable and moving. Coveted auction items included a “committee” wine rack—a fine bottle of wine from each of the 22 members of the event committee—and chocolate truffles made by 3-year-old Zack Herndon, who has CF, with a little help from his Dad, Bill.

One of the evening’s most poignant moments came during the Bid for a Cure, delivered by Gretchen Imfeld whose daughters Meghan, 12, and Faith, 9, have CF. Combined with a video chronicling a day in the life of the two girls, and a $175,000 match from a generous anonymous donor, the Bid raised an impressive $200,000.

“It was truly an honor to acknowledge the life-saving research and treatments by Frank Accurso and the other professionals at the Children’s Hospital,” said Teresa Elder, event co-chair. “And we continue to be amazed and delighted at the generosity of the Colorado chapter’s many supporters,” added her husband and fellow co-chair Bill Elder. 

Thanks a Million

Many thanks go to the incredibly energetic event committee, so ably chaired by Bill and Teresa Elder.

  •  Diane Arnold
  • Kathleen Beatty
  • Mary Susan Brunick
  • Connie Campbell
  • Laura Duris
  • Kathy Friedland
  • Bill and Dawn Herndon
  • Lori Hoff
  • Jenyce Houg-Brown
  • Elisabete Hummel
  • Nicole Jacques
  • Patrice McGeeney
  • Hillery Meier
  • Shirley Mitchell
  • Billie Rommes
  • Rich Rommes
  • Annemarie Roy
  • Jill Stark
  • Wendy Warnecke

The gala could never have succeeded without the help of our many generous sponsors:

  •  The Asher Family
  • ARRIS
  • AT&T
  • Mike and Kathleen Beatty
  • Brownstein Hyatt & Farber
  • The Brunick Family Foundation
  • Call Management Products
  • The Children’s Hospital
  • The Children’s Partners Foundation
  • The Colbert Family Foundation
  • Ron Cooper
  • The Demos Family
  • Digestive Care Inc.
  • Bill and Teresa Elder
  • B.J. Fair
  • FirstBank of Colorado
  • Paul and Susan Flessner
  •  Paul and Susan Flessner
  • Jeff and Kathy Friedland
  • Gilead
  • Marshall and Jenifer Gile
  • Patrick and Nicole Jacques
  • Juniper Networks 
  • Jack and Lynn Londen
  • Mitchell Brown and Associates
  • Mountain Chalet Aspen
  • Tony and Lori Naes
  • Thomas and Jeanne Patterson
  • Rich and Billie Rommes
  • StarTek
  • Mike & Dianne St. John
  • TW Telecom
  • Wells Fargo