(LOUDONVILLE, NY) – More than $150,000 was raised last weekend at the 13th annual Emerald Eve to benefit The Donna M. Crandall Memorial Foundation. Held at the Canfield Casino in Saratoga Springs, 385 guests helped make the charity’s only annual fundraising the most successful to date. Every penny will be used to provide financial support and hope to local cystic fibrosis (CF)* patients and their families.

“The Foundation makes us feel like everything is possible,” said Mary Potanovic, who was featured in a video shown at the gala. The wife of Tom, a cystic fibrosis (CF) patient from Schenectady, she explained that “No matter what lies ahead, we know we have the Foundation behind us and that they are there if we need them. It is an amazing feeling.”

A 501c3 non-profit, family-run, volunteer-based charity, the Donna M. Crandall Memorial Foundation has raised $1.9 million since its inception in 2000. Assistance is provided in a myriad of ways, depending on individual needs. Whether it is used to help with the costs associated with the double-lung transplant process (travel, accommodations, medical fees, etc.), by covering living expenses while a patient is ill or hospitalized, or by making life as an in-patient more tolerable (gift bags, cafeteria gift cards, etc.), the Foundation has never said no to a patient or family in need.

“The CF community is small but mighty,” said Lisa Cheney, Foundation Vice President and sister-in-law of Donna Crandall. “We started this Foundation as a way to pay tribute to Donna, but over the years it has been a blessing to really become a part of the lives of other CFers and their families. We have a profound understanding of what their lives are like and it is our privilege to help out however we can, whenever we can. We are also so happy that the Foundation is a venue for others to keep their loved ones’ memories alive.”

At the gala, treasured volunteers Marianne Patnode of Kinderhook and Michelle Breton Jackson of Troy were presented with “Burke P. Bear” Awards recognizing their devotion to the Foundation and people with CF. Mrs. Patnode, RN, recently retired from Albany Medical Center where she was head nurse on E5, the floor where adults with CF are treated. She has been a Registered Nurse for 43 years. Mrs. Jackson is inspired by the memory of her little sister Michelle, who died nine years ago.

Other Emerald Eve highlights included a video (watch it here) featuring dedicated supporters and family members who benefit from the Foundation, remarks from the daughter of a Guilderland woman who is awaiting a double-lung transplant, and entertainment by the Tequila Mockingbirds. Live auction items included a Northeastern Fine Jewelers-donated emerald necklace valued at $2,000, a romantic getaway in the Adirondacks at Fern Lodge and other unique bidding opportunities.

Emerald Eve’s sponsors were as follows ~ Emerald: Kevin and Kathy Bette. Platinum: Capital Region Orthopedic Associates, Cool Insuring Agency, Inc., Mazzone Hospitality and The Robert and Jean Taylor Fund. Gold: Ascent Wealth Partner, LLC, Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Agency, Kimberly Smith Company, New England Systems and Software, Powmat LTD, Saratoga Financial Systems, Strategic Solutions and The Flaherty Family Foundation.

*Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of about 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. A defective gene causes the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and pancreas, leading to life-threatening lung infections and preventing natural pancreatic enzymes from breaking down and absorbing food and nutrients.

The Donna M. Crandall Memorial Foundation
50 Traditional Lane, Loudonville NY 12211
(518) 453-6369
Media Contact: Dawn McGuinness 609/529-6365 or 518/377-0404

Posted on:  November 22, 2013