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Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Named Charitable Organization of the Year by USA Track & Field

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was selected today as the 2006 Charitable Organization of the Year by USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body of track and field, long-distance running and race walking.

The CF Foundation was honored for its largest fundraising program -- GREAT STRIDES -- a national walk that raised nearly $32 million in 2006, and for other road races, jogs and marathons that raise money to support vital CF research and care programs.

"The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has established one of the country's most successful fund-raising programs by speaking to Americans' desire to do something - not simply donate money - for a cause," said USATF CEO Craig A. Masback. "Runners and walkers join forces around the country to help fight a fatal disease. The fundraising of GREAT STRIDES has played a direct role in positively affecting lives."

As part of GREAT STRIDES, more than 200,000 coworkers, friends and family come together each year to walk in support of one cause: a cure for CF. GREAT STRIDES features nearly 600 walk sites, with participants walking as individuals or teams to raise money for CF. Since the first GREAT STRIDES walk in 1989, approximately $250 million has been raised.

"We are grateful to the tens of thousands of GREAT STRIDES walkers who come together in their individual communities to make a difference in the lives of people with cystic fibrosis," said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "The CF Foundation is honored to be named Charitable Organization of the Year by USA Track and Field and to be recognized for the important role we play in fighting this devastating disease. In fact, since GREAT STRIDES began 19 years ago, the median age of survival for people with CF has increased by 10 years to 37 years old."

Since 2002, USA Track & Field (USATF) has studied the impact of charitable walking and running in the U. S. The annual award, based on USATF's studies, recognizes charitable organizations like the CF Foundation that have successfully advanced their cause through walks and runs. Including GREAT STRIDES contributions, more than $714 million was raised for charity by runners and walkers in 2007, USATF's study found. Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening, genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the leading organization devoted to curing and controlling cystic fibrosis. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation funds CF research, has 80 chapter and branch offices throughout the country, and supports and accredits a nationwide network of 115 CF care centers, which provide vital treatments and other CF resources to patients and families. Nearly 90 cents of every dollar raised by the CF Foundation is available to fund CF research and care programs. For more information, visit

To help fight CF, get involved in GREAT STRIDES by calling (800) FIGHT CF or visiting

SOURCE Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
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