Philadelphia-area Nonprofit Raises More Than $102,000 to Support its Global Hepatitis B Research, Outreach & Patient Advocacy
Online PR News – 01-June-2012 – Philadelphia, PA – On April 27, 2012, the Hepatitis B Foundation hosted its annual Crystal Ball fundraiser at PineCrest Country Club in Lansdale, Pa. More than 230 leaders from the community, academia, corporations, government, pharmaceutical and biotech industries gathered to support the Foundation. The benefit raised more than $102,000 to advance the Foundation’s mission of eliminating hepatitis B worldwide.
During the evening, the Foundation honored Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with the its inaugural Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for his leadership in creating the first HHS Action Plan for Viral Hepatitis that has elevated hepatitis B as a national public health priority. Graciously acknowledging the award and saluting the legacy of Dr. Blumberg, Dr. Koh concluded, “I am excited to be able to work with the Hepatitis B Foundation which has become a national resource. Tonight, I have met the most compassionate, committed group of people dedicated to hepatitis B; you all are the incredible heroes.”
Pennsylvania State Senator Chuck McIlhinney extended his congratulations and added, “I am so pleased that Dr. Koh can see for himself the great work being done by the Hepatitis B Foundation.”
Brad Segall, the award-winning Suburban Bureau Chief for KYW Newsradio 1060 and a long-time active supporter of the Foundation, served as the evening’s emcee and helped present the Foundation’s Community Commitment Award to Bridget and Joseph Wingert, editor and publisher of the Bucks County Herald. According to Foundation Executive Director and Co-founder Joan Block, “The Wingerts have always helped to promote the good works of nonprofit organizations such as ours through their widely-read newspaper. We are proud to publicly thank them for their commitment to the community.”
Other key presenters included former Congressman and Honorary Crystal Ball Committee Co-Chair, Jim Greenwood; President and CEO of Univest Bank and Trust, Leon Moyer; Chairman of the Foundation’s Board and Managing Partner of High Swartz law firm, Joel Rosen; and Co-founder and Volunteer President of the Foundation, Dr. Timothy Block. The evening included silent and live auctions with a special raffle for a seven-night Holland America Line cruise for two. Univest Bank and Trust served as the presenting sponsor and the Bucks County Herald was the evening’s media sponsor. Additional major sponsors included Kevin Kruse, Citrin Cooperman, de Artfolio Design, Drexel University College of Medicine, Furia Rubel Communications, Gilead Sciences and High Swartz LLP.
“Everyone at the Hepatitis B Foundation is humbled by the outpouring of generosity from our supporters, partners, colleagues, friends and family through our annual fundraiser,” said Block. “I echo Dr. Koh’s remarks from his Crystal Ball speech in saying that the Crystal Ball was billed to be an enchanted evening and so it was.”
Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection and the major cause of liver cancer worldwide. Approximately 2 billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (1 out of 3) and 400 million are chronically infected. Each year, 1 million people die prematurely from hepatitis B-related liver disease and liver cancer. In the U.S., an estimated 2 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis B – that is 1 in 20. The good news is that hepatitis B is preventable and treatable. However, for the 400 million people living with chronic hepatitis B infections, there is still no complete cure.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read our blog at http://wp.hepb.org, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call (215) 489-4900.