Russell Athletic's Sweatshirt Ball Raises More Than $225,000 For Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Oct 16, 2006, 01:00 ET from Russell Athletic

    ATLANTA, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Russell Athletic partnered with the
 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to raise more than $225,000 for cystic fibrosis
 patients and their families through a ball Saturday, October 14. Paparazzi
 greeted black-tie-and-sweatshirt-clad guests as they walked the red fleece
 carpet at the InterContinental Hotel in Atlanta for the Russell Athletic
 65(R) Roses Sweatshirt Ball.
     (Photo: )
     "How often do you get to enjoy a night of high style while you wear a
 sweatshirt? This ball was not only a great way to give back to an
 extraordinary cause, but also share in the celebration of the sweatshirt's
 80th birthday," said Alex Hodges, Russell Athletic's vice president of
 marketing. The company celebrates its 1926 creation of the sweatshirt this
 fall with the largest marketing campaign in more than a decade.
     As Russell's guests, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and CFF
 board member Dominique Wilkins co-hosted a special portion of the evening
 alongside Olympic gold medalist and current Women's Sports Foundation
 President Dominique Dawes. The pair ignited the crowd by pulling guests
 with unique sweatshirt apparel out of the crowd and into an impromptu
 fashion show. Wilkins, Dawes and Hodges then ceremoniously crowned the two
 head-to-toe fleece-clad guests as the evening's "Sweatshirt Ball King and
     CF patient and Oklahoma's acclaimed NCAA track athlete Jackie Dubois-
 Miller hosted the "Bid for a Cure," a special live auction where guests bid
 directly for research for CF. For each $1,000 raised during the "Bid for a
 Cure," Russell pledged to donate one sweatshirt to local CF treatment
 clinics. The Bid for a Cure raised $36,000.
     Wilkins spontaneously offered himself as a final part of the live
 auction; the winning bidder will have Wilkins appear at his upcoming
 corporate function.
     "We were honored to host such prestigious athletes at this event,
 because part of fighting the effects of CF is to stay active and healthy.
 'The Dominiques' and Jackie are shining examples of athletic discipline and
 dedication," said Hodges.
     Musicians including Collective Soul, Third Day, Amy Grant and Vince
 Gill all supported the cause by signing and decorating sweatshirts for the
 extensive silent auction that earned more than $44,000. Paula Deen, the
 Food Network's southern sweetheart, also decorated a sweatshirt for the
     Throughout the night, guests decorated fleece shawls and scarves at
 donation decoration stations. Token place card Russell Athletic sweatshirt
 notebooks were another creative way the event employed the sweatshirt
     Saturday's sweatshirt ball was just one part of Russell's big birthday
 celebration. Hodges said Russell will also celebrate the milestone birthday
 of the sweatshirt today in New York at the Women's Sports Foundation Hall
 of Fame breakfast at the Waldorf Astoria.
     The gala honored Dr. Laurence J. Downey, president and CEO of Solvay
 Pharmaceuticals, for his leadership in the development of cystic fibrosis
 therapies. Creon(R), developed by Solvay, continues to be the most
 prescribed pancreatic enzyme preparation in the world and helps cystic
 fibrosis patients digest food and avoid malnutrition. The foundation also
 recognized Michael J. Coles, CEO of Caribou Coffee, for his contributions
 to CFF.
     The event was co-chaired by Cherie Fuzzell Miller of Brookhaven and Dr.
 Catherine E. Palmier of Duluth.
     About Russell Athletic
     Russell Athletic serves as the flagship brand of Russell Corporation.
 Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, it employs 1,800 people worldwide. For
 more than 100 years, Russell Athletic has supplied America's athletes and
 teams with the latest innovations to help them perform at their best. This
 fall, Russell Athletic recognizes the 80th birthday of the sweatshirt with
 the company's biggest marketing campaign in more than a decade. The
 sweatshirt was first created by Bennie Russell, son of Russell
 Corporation's founder Benjamin Russell, in 1926 and was first used as
 warm-ups for football and track teams.
     About Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
     The 65 Roses(R) Ball is an annual event sponsored by the Cystic
 Fibrosis Foundation to raise funds for research and awareness of cystic
 fibrosis (CF). "Sixty-five roses" is the endearing term many young CF
 patients use to refer to their disease. CF is a genetic disease affecting
 more than 30,000 young people in the United States. Developments in
 treatments and therapies have increased the median age of persons with CF
 to 36.8 years; when the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was founded in 1955,
 most persons with CF did not live to enter elementary school. The Cystic
 Fibrosis Foundation continues to be recognized as one of the "top health
 charities you can trust" because of the commitment to fiscal
 responsibility; nearly 90 cents of every dollar raised in 2005 was invested
 directly in research efforts.

SOURCE Russell Athletic