Russell Athletic's Sweatshirt Ball Raises More Than $225,000 For Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
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: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061016/CLM529 ) "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 Queen." 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 event. 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 theme. 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. www.russellathletic.com 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. www.cff.org www.65rosesball.com
SOURCE Russell Athletic
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