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Tickets on sale for North Texas Wine Opener
From staff reports
With the $2 million mark within their sights, friends of the North Texas Wine Opener benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) reunited at the lakefront home of John and Carol Carter to set fundraising efforts in motion for the May, 4, 2013 event.
The Kick-Off party raised over $1,000 in donations, and brought in auction items such as airline tickets, a Games2U party, and top-tier bottles for the ever-popular wine pull. Event tickets are on sale starting Oct. 1, 2012.
“We love collecting gifts to jumpstart our auction, and gathering with friends, of course, but the real focus of the evening is renewing our efforts to cure cystic fibrosis,” said host John Carter.
Todd Vowels, 47, has CF and continues to celebrate birthdays beyond the average CF life expectancy. He explained to guests the complexity of his disease. “Unless you are personally impacted by CF, you probably don’t know what it is. If you do, you may think of it as a lung disease. CF can start in the lungs, but it actually impacts every organ in the body.”
Once thought of as a childhood disease, CF now has increasing social, financial and career implications as sufferers like Vowels live longer, and in some cases, grow up to have their own children. “It’s a whole new balancing act,” Vowels said.
CF is an expensive disease, and can lead to other health crises like cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Finding and paying for health insurance and carving out enough hours in the day to manage treatment can overwhelm people living with CF.
Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation, acknowledges the challenge and reports that 1 in 4 CF patients has delayed or skipped treatment due to cost.
“We know that managing this disease can be a challenge, and oftentimes overwhelming,” Beall said. “At the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, we are committed not just to developing new drugs, but also to helping patients get access to the care and treatment they need to live longer, healthier lives.”
Vowels recently traveled to California for the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, a gathering of CF doctors, scientists and caregivers.
He said, “The people working for the CFF share a passion for a cure, so I want you to know that funds raised go to the right people. The mystery that is CF is being solved.”
The introduction of Kalydeco, a new drug that targets the underlying cause of CF -- not just the symptoms, is a step in the right direction. Funded in part by events like the North Texas Wine Opener, Kalydeco is just one of the game-changing drugs that the CFF supports.
“The research pipeline starts right here,” Vowels told the hushed crowd. “I will get down on my knees if I have to. We need to stop this disease in its tracks.”
Tickets are on sale starting Oct. 1 for the May 4, 2013 event, which will take place at Royal Affairs Ballroom. Guests can enjoy a seated dinner prepared by acclaimed chef Morris Salerno of The Grotto; a selection of fine wine generously supplied by Newton Vineyard; and a silent and live auction led by GDP Auctioneer Services. In the months leading up to the event, fundraising efforts will continue with Hot Cocoa for CF, lemonade stands by event sponsor The Lemonade Pals and Change for CF, a friendly competition among local schools.
“How can you help,” Eric Welke said. “Sponsor the event, buy a ticket or table, or donate an auction item. It was compassion that allowed 300 people to raise $300,000 last year, along with the devotion of event chairs and volunteers. I know we can raise the roof again in 2013.”
For tickets to the North Texas Wine Opener or information on sponsorship opportunities, call the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Northeast Texas at 214-871-2222 or visit www.cfwineopener.org. This event is open to the community; however, tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance for $175 each or $2500 for a reserved table of 10, which includes a Derby watching event prior to the Wine Opener.
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