Broadway stars appeared at the Birdland Jazz Club to raise funds to support the battle against pulmonary fibrosis (PF) for the 5th consecutive year. PF is a relentless and devastating progressive disease that causes lung scarring. There is still no cure and many patients live no more than two or three years post diagnosis. To help boost funding for research, award-winning actress and dedicated Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) advocate Julie Halston hosted the Broadway Belts for PFF! benefit show. The sold-out show featured some of Broadway’s most talented members and vocal patrons of the PF community for a spectacular night of entertainment that successfully raised more than $150,000 for the Foundation.
With her distinguished humor and skillful narration, Halston hosted the show for the 5th time this year; she recently was part of the Broadway show You Can’t Take it With You. The broadway stars performed during an intimate evening of melody under the musical direction of Christopher McGovern and returning director Carl Andress who has directed all five of the Broadway Belts for PFF! performances. The cast included: Santino Fontana (Cinderella), Julia Murney (Wicked), Tony Award-winner Randy Graff (City of Angels), Annaleigh Ashford (Kinky Boots You Can’t Take It With You), Erich Bergen (Jersey Boys film TV’s Madam Secretary), Robert Creighton (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Zakiya Young (Stick Fly The Little Mermaid), and Betsy Wolfe (Bullets Over Broadway/The Mystery of Edwin Drood).
Patti Tuomey, President and CEO of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, said in a press release: “We are incredibly grateful to our dear friends Julie Halston D. Michael Dvorchak Ed Windells Trisha Henson and Sue Frost for the time and talent they put into this year’s event. The show always features such amazing talent and in five years has contributed more than $387,000 to the pulmonary fibrosis community. It’s this type of dedication and effort from the PF community that will help us fund research towards a cure for pulmonary fibrosis.”
“I want everyone to know about the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation so that no one living with this terrible disease has to go through it alone. My husband and I started this benefit five years ago to remember our friend Michael and we hope the awareness and money raised brings us closer to a cure,” said Halston.
Broadway Belts for PFF! started in 2011 and all the funds go to supporting the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s Michael Kuchwara Fund for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research Education and Advocacy.