Todd Miles Award
By KIM MEYER-WEBB | Photography by DERO SANFORD
As the Finest Gala returns for a magical evening under the stars, Chairman Cat Sims reminds constituents the purpose of this fun + festive gathering. “The ultimate goal of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is for CF to stand for Cure Found. I truly believe that it will happen in our lifetime.” Guests will gather at the Argenta Plaza for a dinner + program that highlights this mission. “It’s so special to see so many of the CF families come together with tears of joy and excitement. We’re all cheering for honorees who spent a year raising money for the cause.” Andrew Crone received the Todd Miles Award for his fundraising efforts and will be recognized later this month for his contributions to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and life-saving research.
Andrew was initially introduced to the health risks of cystic fibrosis through a family member. “She was diagnosed with CF and we wanted to support her and others in the CF community.” He has served on the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Board of Directors as well as a Finest Honoree. Andrew realizes that community service is a civic responsibility and can be exemplary – something he learned through his time with Boy Scouts of America. “Raising funds and community awareness for the disease will get others involved to find a cure.”
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that predominantly affects the lungs, pancreas and digestive system causing serious infections and complications. Established in 1955, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation supports innovative research and medical developments that treat the disease. As a result, the life expectancy of patients has increased dramatically. “When the foundation started its work, children with cystic fibrosis only lived to be about 5 years old,” Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Senior Development Director Bethany Howell elaborates. “Today, cystic fibrosis patients are living as adults – getting married and having families of their own. Continued support through young professionals, like Andrew, will ensure we have the resources to continue our fight for a cure.”
At the heart of the Finest Gala is a love for family and fellowship. Christine Millner Gay will be recognized with the Breath of Life Award. Her tenure of nearly a decade with the foundation reflects not only her commitment to funding a cure for cystic fibrosis, but also a deep devotion to community. “We’re all in this world together and we must help lift others up during times of despair.” This powerful perspective resonates. “The difference we make through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is undeniable; we’re changing the outcomes of so many lives.”
Family is a source of inspiration for Andrew, “My mother for her relentless work ethic and my father for his selflessness.” It’s a critical component of his civic leadership. “Our family has been profoundly impacted by this disease. This event brings people together for the common goal of eradicating CF.”