Breath of Life Gala Raises Nearly a Half-Million Dollars for the CF Cause

November 27, 2012

Just a few days after Hurricane Sandy came to town, the Delaware Valley Chapter rallied to make sure its Breath of Life Gala went off without a hitch.

DE Breath of Life Gala Emily

Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, age 27, who has CF, brought the crowd to its feet with her compelling Bid for a Cure speech, which raised an amazing $160,000.
Photo courtesy of Katie Reynolds.

More than 500 people gathered at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott on November 3rd for the annual fundraiser, which was held in honor of Drexel University President John A. Fry. The evening raised more than $450,000 towards the fight against CF, making it the chapter’s most successful gala to-date.

“The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation sets the standard for what effective venture philanthropy can and should be,” Fry said in his remarks. He then went on to recognize the generous volunteers and donors who support the CF cause, and the medical professionals — including his colleagues at Drexel — who devote their careers to treating people with the disease.

The event featured a silent auction that sold an array of vacation getaways, signed sports memorabilia, fine jewelry and designer handbags. All-in-all, the auction raised nearly $30,000 for the search for a cure for CF.

DE Breath of Life Gala

Breath of Life co-chair Joe Jacovini and his wife Ann enjoy the evening with the 2012 Philadelphia Breath of Life honoree, Drexel University President John A. Fry, and his wife Cara.
Photo courtesy of Katie Reynolds.

Bid for a Cure Speech Brings Guests to Their Feet

Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, age 27, who has CF, dazzled and moved the audience with her Bid for a Cure speech. As a distinguished graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, a full-time employee at Penn Medicine and a graduate student pursuing her Master’s degree, Emily has never let CF get in the way of pursuing her dreams.

Emily captivated the audience as she delivered a powerful, touching testament of what it’s like to live with CF and fight the disease every day. The speech evoked a standing ovation and raised an amazing $160,000. 

“The extraordinary efforts of our co-chairs, committee, President Fry and his team from Drexel resulted in one of the most high-energy chapter events ever, to say nothing of its outstanding financial success,” said Eileen Miley, executive director of the Foundation’s Delaware Valley Chapter. “We are indebted to our friends and supporters whose commitment and dedication are bringing us closer than ever to our ultimate goal of finding a cure for CF.

The Delaware Valley Chapter would like to thank the event co-chairs:

  • Daniel  Hilferty, president & CEO, Independence Blue Cross
  • Joseph Jacovini, Chairman, Dilworth Paxson, LLP

Its generous sponsors:

Diamond Sponsors: 

  • Community Health Services
  • Drexel University
  • Dilworth Paxson, LLP
  • Independence Blue Cross

Platinum Sponsors:

  • McLane Company, Inc. – New Jersey

Gold Sponsors:

  • Cozen O’Connor
  • Hahnemann University Hospital
  • St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
  • Raynier Institute & Foundation
  • TD Bank, N.A.
  • Torcon, Inc.
  • DTZ a UGL Company

Silver Sponsors: 

  • Pennoni & Associates

Bronze Sponsors: 


  • American Continental Group
  • Aon Risk Solutions
  • Aqua America
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Delaware Investments
  • Gilbane Building Company
  • Holman Automotive
  • Jennie Perelman Foundation
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kline & Specter P.C., KPMG, LLP
  • Liberty Mutual Group
  • Merck
  • Meridian Bank
  • Pfizer
  • Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young
  • The Hankin Group
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Pennsylvania


And other key volunteers who helped make the event a success:

  • Auction chairs: Michael & Valerie Franklin

  • Gala committee members: Michael Armento, Pamela Armento, Marc Armstrong, Robert Brown, Michael Carbone, Dominic Caruso, Nicholas DeBenedictis, Richard A. Greenawalt, Janet Guthart, Michael P. Halter,  Edward Hollin, Giovanna Imbesi, Brian Keech, Marie Nardotti , Denise LaRosa, Jerry Maginnis, C.R. “Chuck” Pennoni, William R. Sasso, Stephen A. Sheller, Allen Shubin, Stanley W. Silverman and James Tucker.