Broadway's Best Gather to Raise Funds and Awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

Broadway's Best Gather to Raise Funds and Awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2013

Julie Halston, Debbie Gravitte, Max von Essen, Emily Bergyl, Robert Creighton,
Klea Blackhurst, Emma Hunton, and Edward Watts

Join Legendary Belter Linda Lavin for the Third Annual Broadway Belts for PFF!

NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With honors ranging from
the Golden Globes to the Tony Awards, Broadway's best performers gathered
Monday night to raise awareness of the rare disease, pulmonary fibrosis (PF),
and honor the memory of Associated Press theater critic, Michael Kuchwara.
Hosted by award-winning actress and devoted Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
(PFF) advocate Julie Halston, Broadway Belts for PFF! returned to Birdland in
New York City for a third successful year. The event raised almost $70,000 to
benefit the Foundation.

Broadway stars showcased their belting abilities under the musical direction
of Jesse Kissel and returning director Carl Andress. The all-star cast
included: Tony winners Linda Lavin (Broadway Bound) and Debbie Gravitte
(Jerome Robbins Broadway), Emily Bergyl (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Klea
Blackhurst (York Theatre's Happy Hunting), Max von Essen (Evita), Robert
Creighton (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening), and
Edward Watts (Encores! It's A Bird… It's A Plane…It's Superman).

The evening's highlights included Lavin and Gravitte's original performances
of their showstopping Broadway numbers – "You've Got Possibilities" from It's
A Bird…It's A Plane…It's Superman and "Mr. Monotony" from Jerome Robbins
Broadway; and the premiere of a new song from the Broadway-bound musical
Chasing The Song called "Come Back When You're a Man," sung by Gravitte and
Emma Hunton.

"Broadway Belts for PFF! has raised almost $160,000 to fund research and
generated significant awareness for a rare disease," said the PFF's President
and Chief Operating Officer, Patti Tuomey. "We are so thankful to Julie
Halston, D. Michael Dvorchak, Ed Windels, and Sue Frost for their efforts in
producing such an amazing evening and for contributing so much to the PF

Broadway's Julie Halston became the leading spokesperson for the PFF after her
husband, broadcaster Ralph Howard, received a lung transplant due to pulmonary
fibrosis. Ms. Halston hopes that the awareness created by Broadway Belts for
PFF! will assist others affected by the disease.

"I want to make sure everyone knows about the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation,
so that no one with pulmonary fibrosis has to go through this alone," said
Halston. "First my husband was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis then we lost
our friend Michael Kuchwara to the disease. I am thankful to my dear friends
who give their time and talent year after year to help raise awareness and
fund the research that will bring us closer to finding a cure."

The PFF's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors,
Daniel M. Rose, MD, emphasized the importance of bringing together the PF
community that now includes the stars of Broadway, "This event brought
together patients, caregivers, transplant recipients, physicians, financial
supporters, and major pharmaceutical companies to bring awareness and raise
funds for a rare disease with no FDA-approved treatment and no cure," said Dr.
Rose. "It is important to our mission that we foster this type of PF
community interaction to get a clear picture of what needs to be done to
support researchers, doctors, and patients."

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation would like to thank this year's Broadway
Belts for PFF! Director's Circle Sponsors, the Doug and Gay Lane Charitable
Foundation and InterMune, Inc.; Broadway Partner Sponsors, Broadway
Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Daryl and Steven Roth Foundation; and
Ensemble Member Sponsors, Boehringer Ingelheim, Canaccord Genuity, and the
Nederlander Organization. The Foundation would also like to thank the
following Chorus Line Sponsors: Dohmen; Mike and Donna Henderson; Nora and
Richard Johnson; Michelle Harmon-Madsen and Ken Madsen; Chase Hutt and Patti
Schoffer; Major Robert C. Dopher, USMC, Retired, Memorial Fund; PF Patients
from the Pacific Northwest; Robert and Patricia Ross; Richard and Davida
Rothberg; Wendy and Neil Scheer; Thomas Schumacher; and Dave Steffy.

All funds raised at the event will go toward the Pulmonary Fibrosis
Foundation's Michael Kuchwara Fund for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research,
Education, and Advocacy in honor of the late Associated Press theater critic
and reporter; Mr. Kuchwara passed away from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in
May of 2010.

For more information on the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, or to make a
donation, please visit

About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The mission of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) is to help find a cure
for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), advocate for the pulmonary fibrosis
community, promote disease awareness, and provide a compassionate environment
for patients and their families. The PFF collaborates with physicians,
organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. December 1-3, 2011 the PFF
hosted its first biennial international scientific conference, IPF Summit
2011: From Bench to Bedside, in Chicago; PFF Summit 2013 will be held December
5–7, 2013, in La Jolla, California. For more information visit or call 888.733.6741.

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a condition in which over a period of
time the lung tissue becomes thickened, stiff, and scarred. The development of
the scar tissue is called fibrosis. As the lung tissue becomes scarred and
thicker, the lungs lose their ability to transfer oxygen into the bloodstream.
As a result, the brain and other organs don't receive the oxygen they need. In
some cases, doctors can determine the cause of the fibrosis, but in most
cases, there is not a known cause. When there is no known etiology for the
fibrosis (and certain pathologic or radiographic criteria are met), the
disease is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF. IPF affects
approximately 200,000 individuals in the United States (US), and 138,000
individuals in the European Union (EU). The annual mortality is estimated to
be 40,000 in the US alone, with an average survival of 2–3 years following
diagnosis. There is no cure for IPF. There is no FDA-approved treatment for
IPF in the US and limited therapeutic options available for individuals with
mild-to-moderate IPF in the EU, Canada, and Asia.

Charlie Siedenburg

Cara Schillinger
Associate Vice President, Communications and Marketing

SOURCE The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

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