LUNGevity Foundation Announces Regional Community Outreach Program

Fastest growing charity to establish local presence in key markets

MEDIA CONTACT: Beth Ida Stern
847.687.7374
bstern@lungevity.org

CHICAGO (August 18, 2010) – In order to connect with its tens of thousands of advocates nationwide, LUNGevity Foundation announced today that it has formed Community Relations Boards (CRB) in key markets across the country. The CRB will be responsible for supporting LUNGevity’s 40+ annual national events.

LUNGevity Foundation, whose mission is to have a meaningful and immediate impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer, was named fastest growing charity in the US in 2009 by Charity Navigator. The foundation’s phenomenal growth has been driven by its national events program.

“Our new Community Relations Board initiative enlists long-time LUNGevity advocates to provide a connection between the foundation, which is based in Chicago, and our volunteer event coordinators across the country,” said Diana Fusco, chair of the CRB program. “We will provide a conduit from the organization to our local constituents, and from our local constituents back to the foundation, with the aim of disseminating information, developing best practices, and encouraging cohesion among our tens of thousands of national constituents.”

In addition to Ms. Fusco, the inaugural CRB regional directors include:

  • Jamie Young, coordinator of Playing for a Cure, a middle- and high-school band competition in Memphis, now in its sixth year. Ms. Young is a five-year survivor of Stage III-B lung cancer, having been diagnosed eight days after her 35th birthday.
  • Liz McCabe, coordinator of the Cary Walk for Hope in Cary, NC, now in its fourth year. Ms. McCabe lost both of her parents to lung cancer.
  • Libby Winzeler, coordinator of the Twin Cities Live & Breath Walk and Run, now in its third year. Ms. Winzeler’s father participated in her first walk in 2008, and passed away five months later, 4½ years after his lung cancer diagnosis.
  • Alison Riddle, coordinator of the LA Lung Cancer Walk, now in its fourth year. Ms. Riddle lost her older sister, Adriane, to lung cancer on June 9, 2003. She was 18 when she was diagnosed in 2001. Adriane testified in front of the FDA because she was on the trial study Iressa, a targeted therapy.
  • Amanda Carrigan, coordinator of Walk the Walk in Grand Blanc, Michigan, now in it fourth year. Ms. Carrigan lost her close friend, Nancy, to lung cancer in 2008.
  •  Mike Notaro, coordinator of the CNY Lung Cancer Walk, Run, and Rally in Liverpool, New York. Mr. Notaro lost his grandfather to lung cancer in 1983 when his grandfather was 59; he works at Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York, where he has learned first-hand the need for support for lung cancer.

The CRB is divided into four regions, each of which will have two directors who will manage a local committee of individuals enlisted as liaisons to event coordinators and their constituents, which include lung cancer patients and their loved ones, medical personnel and institutions, event volunteers and participants, donors and sponsors, and the media.

“The Community Relations Board represents a huge step in the evolution of our foundation,” said Beth Ida Stern, Executive Director. “As we’ve seen with the reduction in mortality rates that breast cancer has achieved, a strong grassroots advocate community is critical for raising awareness and funding for lung cancer. The CRB will allow us to form even stronger connections with our advocates across the country.”

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation was the nation’s fastest growing charity in 2009, according to Charity Navigator. Its mission is to have a meaningful and immediate impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer. In order to accomplish its mission, LUNGevity funds the most promising research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer as identified by its Scientific Advisory Board. LUNGevity also supports the largest national grassroots lung cancer network through its national events program. For more information, please visit www.lungevity.org.

About Lung Cancer

  • Lung cancer impacts one in 14 Americans and is the number one cancer killer – more than breast, colorectal, and prostate, ovarian, non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, and melanoma cancers combined.
  • Sixty percent of Americans diagnosed with lung cancer either never smoked a cigarette in their lives or had quit smoking.
  • More than 1.5 times as many women die from lung cancer as from breast cancer.Less than 15 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive more than five years post-diagnosis because of limited early detection opportunities.
  • There is no widely available, effective early diagnostic test available today.

About Diana Fusco

Diana Fusco has been a volunteer with LUNGevity Foundation for four years, having lost her mother to the disease in October of 2006, seven months after being diagnosed. In 2007, Diana coordinated a dinner and silent auction in memory of her mother, and raised more than $80,000 for LUNGevity. In 2008 and 2009, Diana was the event coordinator for LUNGevity’s New York Walk to Beat Lung Cancer, which raised more than $300,000. In 2009, Diana joined the board of directors of LUNGevity, and became a member of its Executive Committee as its Secretary. After LUNGevity merged with another lung cancer organization, Protect Your Lungs, in 2010, Diana became the chair of its Community Relations Board. She lives in New York City, where she is the Conference Service Manager at Jumeirah Essex House.

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