HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA (July 22, 2014)– A sell-out crowd of more than 800 people gathered at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach on Saturday July 19 to celebrate the positive connection surfing has with the Cystic Fibrosis community. The evening of good vibrations turned into a record-setting fundraising event for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, raising a net amount of $1.2 million to help find a cure for this deadly inherited disease.
Since its inception in 2007, the Pipline to a Cure campaign has now raised more than $3.7 million to help find a cure for CF. This year's presenting sponsor was Variant Cares, the philanthropic arm of Variant Commercial Real Estate, a leading commercial real estate investment firm that specializes in restoring distressed assets, particularly multi-family apartments. The company is expanding its business portfolio throughout Texas and the Southwest and into Southern California.
Living with Cystic Fibrosis
Exuberant and bubbly, Shelby Klug, CF ambassador and 16-year old high school junior, explained how having cystic fibrosis means difficulty breathing and digesting food, hospital visits, hours of daily treatments, and taking dozens of pills each day.
Still Klug refuses to let the disease define her. "For me, CF stands for chronically fabulous, but one day, with your help, I hope it will stand for Cure Found," Klug said.
Following her speech, Green Day drummer Tre Cool presented Klug, an aspiring drummer, with a pair of autographed drum sticks, and then accompanied her while she sang the band's song "Welcome to Paradise."
This year the Pipeline event honored The Hennessy Family for their 27 years of support in fighting cystic fibrosis. Jerry and Cheri Hennessy became involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation the day their friend's daughter Stacey Motenko was diagnosed.
Paul Motenko, president of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Orange County said of his friend and business partner Jerry Hennessy, "Jerry and his family have shown us the true meaning of friendship as they've walked beside us, and sometimes carried us, on this journey to save our daughter's life."
Other celebrity attendees included honorary co-chairs Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama, Gabrielle Reece, Olympic gold medalists Jason Lezak and Aaron Peirsol, surf legends Peter "PT" Townend, Jericho Poplar, Mickey Munoz, Reef McIntosh and Sam August.
The Pipeline to a Cure event was created to celebrate the discovery by Australian researchers who found that children with cystic fibrosis who surfed had significantly healthier lungs. Doctors determined that inhaling saltwater mist has a powerful effect on rehydrating the lining of the lungs, which allows cystic fibrosis patients to more easily eliminate bacteria-contaminated mucus. This discovery led researchers to develop a hypertonic saline solution, which cystic fibrosis patients around the world now inhale every day. In essence, cystic fibrosis patients now mimic a “surf session” on a daily basis.
Cystic fibrosis affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide). A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections, and obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down and absorb food. The average lifespan of someone with cystic fibrosis is 37 years old.
With no public funding, funds raised from the private sector provide a tremendous and critical lifeline to the more than 70,000 children around the world with cystic fibrosisCurrent and past sponsors in addition to Variant, include Wahoo’s Fish Taco, LAcarGUY, American Airlines, Coast Benefit Consultants, BJ’s Restaurants, Nick Alexander Imports, Kaiser Permanente, Crown Imports (Pacifico), Quiksilver, Volcom, HB Surf School, Newport Surf Camp, Coca-Cola, Raj Manufacturing, TOMS, Kid Creature, Modern Health, CBS Sports, Health Management Services, Newport Beach Aquatic Center, Quikblade, Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, Skilled Pharmacy, Smart & Final, Time & Alarm Systems, Rutan & Tucker and KROQ.
About Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nonprofit donor-supported organization, is to assure the development of the means to cure and control cystic fibrosis and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. The Foundation is the leading organization in the United States devoted to cystic fibrosis. It funds and accredits more than 115 CF care centers, 95 adult care programs and 50 affiliate programs, and has 80 chapters and branch offices nationwide.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is one of the most efficient organizations of its kind. It has received a four-star rating for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator, the largest independent charity evaluator in the United States and is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. The Foundation’s business model has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health and by publications such as Forbes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek.