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Maryland Chapter Honors “39 Under 39” Who Are Making A Difference

August 12, 2011

The stars came out early on a midsummer’s eve in Maryland. On July 20, the CF Foundation’s Maryland Chapter honored 39 stars — top young  professionals in Howard County, Md., who are dedicated to finding a cure. It was all part of the first Annual Howard County’s Finest 39 under 39 Honoree Awards Reception held at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, Md.

Some of the "39 Under 39" who were honored at the Howard County's Finest event. (

"We are thrilled that we could honor these 39 amazing young professionals who are making such a difference in our fight for a cure,” said Del Karfonta, who chaired the event. “You can't help but be excited about the future when you see this much young talent in a room — and all of it devoted to fighting CF."

The honorees joined 200 guests to raise more than $90,000. And with more donations coming in daily, the event is on track to raise over $100,000. Online fundraising was critical, along with help from several creative events held by honorees, including happy hours, bar nights, dinners, and even a paper shredding party.

39 Under 39 Stars

Among the stars, the title of top fundraiser went to Joe Alcodray, General Sales Manager at Mercedes-Benz of Baltimore, who brought in more than $5,000. Joe was helped by the backing of his employer, Mercedes-Benz of Baltimore, who served as the event’s presenting sponsor and hosted a fabulous evening for the Mid-Campaign Reception.

The night’s Bid for a Cure speaker, Colleen Clary Perzan, a 27-year-old woman with CF who owns a floral business, hit the night’s emotional high notes and got attendees excited for the live and silent auctions, which raised more than $7,000. Items up for bidding included American Airlines tickets, use of a luxury coach and tickets to an exclusive Baltimore Grand Prix event.

The Maryland Chapter would like to give special thanks to:

  • Event chair Del Karfonta, along with co-chairs John Bruns and Tori Marriner

Thanks also go to the corporate sponsors:

  • Mercedes-Benz of Baltimore
  • The Columbia Bank
  • GreenConnected, LLC
  • Victoria Gastro Pub

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