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D.C. Volunteers Raise $3.3 Million for the CF Cause

December 21, 2012

DC Breath of Life Gala 2012 Pelley

Longtime friend of the Foundation and “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley emceed the event, and Grace Frinks, 11, shared her personal CF story in a moving Bid for a Cure speech.

At the 10th annual Metropolitan, Washington, D.C. Breath of Life Gala this November, more than 700 friends of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation gathered to raise a record-breaking $3.34 million for vital CF research, care and medical programs.

A Decade of Unwavering Dedication

Held at the National Building Museum in downtown Washington, D.C., the Breath of Life Gala is a time-honored tradition that brings together a diverse group of business leaders and CF Foundation volunteers for an evening of dinner and dancing. The stunning black-tie event was hosted by longtime friend and CF Foundation ambassador “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley.

“The Breath of Life Gala gives me the opportunity each year to step back and reflect on the tremendous progress we’re making in the effort to cure CF,” said Cameron Pratt, president of Foulger-Pratt Companies, and father of three children with CF. Pratt co-chairs the event with Don Wood, CEO of Federal Realty Investment Trust.

Wood, whose teenage daughter Rachel has CF, expressed gratitude for the attendees steadfast support of the Foundation’s mission. “As we get closer to sweeping this hideous disease into the history books, trust that we will never forget the tenacity and persistence you have brought to the fight against CF,” said Wood. “We are forever grateful for your generosity and commitment to reaching our ultimate goal.”

During the event, guests bid on exciting silent and live auction items, from a luxurious Tuscan getaway to an Oldsmobile Super 88 with a Rocket V-8 motor, which sold for $35,000.

Bid for a Cure
DC Breath of Life Gala 2012 Bob Beall

President and CEO Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., enjoys the evening with Emily Schaller, 30, who has CF and came all the way from Michigan to support the 10th annual Metropolitan, Washington, D.C. Breath of Life Gala.

Later in the evening, three courageous people with CF shared their unique stories with an extremely captive audience. Danny Bessette, 28, expressed gratitude to the Foundation for its great efforts in research, and the support he feels from the Foundation. Emily Schaller, 30, who participated in the clinical trial of Kalydeco™, told the audience how the therapy has changed her life immensely, and how the science behind Kalydeco has the potential to find a treatment for the majority of people with CF.

The youngest speaker, Grace Frinks, 11, shared her dream of becoming a singer when she grows up, and how the Foundation gives her hope that someday, her dream will come true. Lucky for Grace, an anonymous donor surprised her with four tickets to see teen pop sensation Justin Bieber in concert.

DC Breath of Life Gala 2012 Danny Bessette

Bid for a Cure speaker Danny Bessette, 28, thanked the audience of more than 700 friends of the Foundation for their unwavering support in the fight against CF. The event raised $3.34 million to support vital research, care and education programs.

At an after-hours “Club Breathe” gathering, guests took to the dance floor and were dazzled by the smooth sounds of a live band, Mood Swings, while sipping signature cocktails. And to top off her night, Grace got a sneak preview of living her dream when she was invited on stage to perform Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” with the band.

The Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Chapter would like to thank the event chairs Don Wood and Cameron Pratt, emcee and host “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley and its extremely generous corporate sponsors.

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