The 7th Annual Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation benefit Broadway Belts for PFF! raised a record-breaking $250,000 – a 35 percent increase over last year – to support its work with the pulmonary fibrosis (PF) community.
Broadway star and comedienne Julie Halston presided at the event, which was in memory of their friend Michael Kuchwara, who died of pulmonary fibrosis. The festivities were Feb. 27 at New York City’s Edison Ballroom.
Halston and her husband, Ralph Howard, became advocates for the foundation after Kuchwara’s death. Coincidently, Howard was diagnosed with PF and had to have a lung transplant.
“To say the show was a smash is an understatement. Our performers were so incredibly gracious and everyone brought the house down,” Halston said in a press release. “Ralph and I are grateful for the opportunity to promote awareness of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s important work in helping patients and funding research for a cure.”
The foundation will use the show’s proceedings to continue its work toward finding a cure for pulmonary fibrosis.
“Enhanced awareness and expanded research are vital to support those affected by pulmonary fibrosis and to continue to identify effective therapies,” said Gregory P. Cosgrove, MD, FCCP, the foundation’s chief medical officer. “We thank everyone involved in supporting our efforts and helping to make Broadway Belts For PFF! the success it has become.”
The show featured several Broadway stars belting out their favorite hits under the direction of Carl Andress. Christopher McGovern was the program’s musical director, Greg Santos the stage manager, and D. Michael Dvorchak, Sue Frost and Ed Windels the producers.
The 7th edition of Broadway Belts For PFF! included Grammy Award winners Stephanie Mills, Orfeh, Lucas Steele, NBC’s Gus Rosendale, and Stephanie J. Block. Tony Award winner Randy Graff also performed, as did Tony nominees Mandy Gonzalez, Mario Cantone, and Robert Creighton.
In related news, the foundation set a date for this year’s PFF Summit, its fourth biannual international healthcare conference. The 2017 Summit will be Nov. 9 to 11 in Nashville. You can learn more about the program here.