Broadway's Finest Gather To Raise Funds And Awareness For The Pulmonary
Julie Halston, Lindsay Mendez, Lucas Steele, Christina Bianco, Tony Yazbeck,
Liz Callaway, Robert Creighton, Cady Huffman and Rashidra Scott join Emmy and
Golden Globe nominated actor Tony Danza at the Fourth Annual Broadway Belts
NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2014
NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the fourth consecutive
year Broadway's best vocal talent appeared Monday night to raise funds for 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 starring a full marquee
of Tony and Emmy award winning performers and recording artists. This year the
event raised almost $110,000 to benefit the PFF.
Award-winning actress and pulmonary fibrosis advocate, Julie Halston (TV's
“Sex and the City,” Broadway's “Anything Goes” and “Gypsy”). Ms. Halston
hosted the Broadway Belts for PFF! fundraiser to benefit the Pulmonary
Fibrosis Foundation at Birdland in New York City on February 24, 2014. Photo
by Seth Walters.
Broadway stars showcased their talent with an evening of music and stories
under the direction of Christopher McGovern and returning director Carl
Andress, who has directed all four of the Broadway Belts for PFF!
performances. The all-star cast included: Lindsay Mendez (Wicked), Lucas
Steele (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), Tony Yazbeck (Little
Me), Liz Callaway (celebrated recording artist), Robert Creighton (Little Me),
Christina Bianco (Forbidden Broadway), Cady Huffman (The Producers) and
Rashidra Scott (Beautiful). Ms. Halston hosted the program for the fourth time
with her usual wit and great story telling. She's now co-starring with Charles
Busch in "The Tribute Artist."
One highlight of the evening was television and stage icon Tony Danza singing
"Out of the Sun," composed by Jason Robert Brown for the Broadway-bound new
musical, "Honeymoon in Vegas." Based on the hit film, the musical is scheduled
to open this fall starring Mr. Danza.
"We are so thankful to our good friends Julie Halston, D. Michael Dvorchak, Ed
Windells, and Sue Frost for their hard work," said Patti Tuomey, President and
Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation. "They produce such an amazing show
by bringing this talent together; it has contributed almost $275,000 to our PF
community. Everyone there agreed it was a very special night."
Broadway's Julie Halston became a leading spokesperson for the PFF after her
husband, broadcaster Ralph Howard, received a lung transplant due to
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. She hopes that the awareness created by
Broadway Belts for PFF! will assist others affected by the disease. "I want to
make sure that 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 and then we lost our friend Michael Kuchwara.
We first started this benefit four years ago to remember Michael and raise
money to someday cure this terrible disease. I am so thankful to my dear
friends who give their time and talent year after year. Their dedication helps
us raise awareness to fund research and bring us closer to a cure. We're
already looking forward to next year's event on February 23, 2015!"
Speaking during the program was Kevin Brown, MD, member of the PFF Board of
Directors and Chairman of the PFF Medical Advisory Board. In addition to
telling the audience a little more about PF, he spoke of how it can impact
anyone, regardless of their age, sex or other demographics. In the US,
idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis affects between 132,000-200,000 people.
The PFF's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors,
Daniel M. Rose, MD commented on the importance of how this event unites the PF
community. "Broadway stars join patients, caregivers, transplant recipients,
physicians, financial supporters and the pharmaceutical companies to raise
funds to find a cure. This PF community interaction helps provide a clear
picture of the task ahead to support researchers, doctors and patients.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation would like to thank the 2014 Broadway Belts
for PFF! Presenting Sponsors: the Doug and Gay Lane Charitable Foundation and
The Steffy Family Foundation Fund; the Director's Circle Sponsors: Daryl and
Steven Roth Foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim, and InterMune, Inc.; the
Broadway Partner Sponsors: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Canaccord
Genuity, Patricia Lahrmer Ross and Robert H. Ross, Richard and Davida
Rothberg, Art Ross and Abbe Sher; our Ensemble Member Sponsors: Gentile
Entertainment Group, Steve and Joan Wald, the Nederlander Organization and the
Winfield Foundation. In addition, the Foundation would like to thank our
Chorus Line Sponsors: We Solutions: Mr. and Mrs. Kyle and Maryam Taylor in
Memory of Mohammadali Mottaghian, MD; Michelle Harmon-Madsen and Ken Madsen;
and Wendy and Neil Scheer.
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 www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org.
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. PFF Summit 2015: From Bench
to Beside, the PFF's third biennial international scientific conference, will
be held November 12-14, 2015. For more information visit
www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 888.733.6741 or +1 312.587.9272 from outside
of the US.
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 between
132,000-200,000 people in the United States (US), and between 37,000-40,000
people in the European Union (EU). The annual mortality is estimated to be
40,000 in the US, with an average survival of 2–3 years following diagnosis.
There is no cure for IPF. There is presently 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.
Television and stage icon, Tony Danza (Emmy Award and Golden Globe Nominee).
Mr. Danza performed “Out of the Sun” from the Broadway-bound new musical,
“Honeymoon in Vegas” at the Broadway Belts for PFF! fundraiser to benefit the
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation at Birdland in New York City on February 24,
2014. Photo by Seth Walters.
(Back row, l to r) Broadway Belts for PFF! cast members, Cady Huffman, Robert
Creighton, Rashidra Scott, Lindsay Mendez, Julie Halston, Liz Callaway,
Christina Bianco, Lucas Steele, and Tony Yazbeck. (Front row, l to r)
Musician, Danny Weller; musical director, Christopher McGovern; and musician,
Alex Wyatt. The Tony and Emmy award-winning cast performed at the Broadway
Belts for PFF! fundraiser to benefit the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation at
Birdland in NYC on Feb. 24, 2014. Photo by Seth Walters.
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Website
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140226/MM72734-a
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140226/MM72734-b
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140226/MM72734-c
President and Chief Operating Officer
SOURCE The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
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