Bringing together a host of Broadway stars and other celebrities, the annual evening of music, comedy, and performance is the single largest fundraiser for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF). The production last year raised a record $400,000 for the nonprofit’s research and patient programs, bringing the total generated since the event’s inception to $1.6 million.
“Broadway Belts is a one-of-a-kind event that draws top talent to support this important cause,” Terence Hales, PFF board member, said in an event announcement. “The outreach and generous support by the Broadway community is humbling and elevates the profile of the disease through the platform of this incredible event. It demonstrates how, together, we can make a difference and improve the outcomes for others dealing with this pulmonary fibrosis.”
The event this year will feature a special performance by New York Yankees legend and Grammy-nominated guitarist Bernie Williams, whose father died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Williams is a longtime PFF supporter and patient advocate.
Tony Award nominee Charles Busch, who performed in The Confession of Lily Dare, The Divine Sister, and Broadway’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, and Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford, star of Broadway’s You Can’t Take It With You and Sunday in the Park With George, are among the performers. Other stars include Robert Creighton, of Broadway’s Frozen and Cagney, Caissie Levy, who also performed in Frozen, and Tony nominee Beth Malone, who starred in Broadway’s Angels in America and Fun Home. Other participants will be announced later.
Here is a video of some of last year’s Broadway Belts’ performances and appearances.
“The must-attend event of the season!” said Michelle Harmon-Madsen, an event sponsor. “Broadway Belts brings together the best and brightest Broadway stars for dazzling performances that support the important work of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. I never miss this incredible evening and you won’t want to either.”
Available now, tickets are $400 for upper balcony seating (one admission), and $1,000 for main floor seating (two admissions). Admission includes hors-d’oeuvres, a multi-course dinner, an open bar, and an invitation to the post-event cocktail party. Sponsorships range from $500 to $50,000. Registration ends Feb. 19. For more information, contact Jackie Williams at [email protected] or 312-224-4667.
“Broadway Belts For PFF!” was created in 2010 by Broadway veteran (Tootsie) and PFF supporter Julie Halston and her husband, Ralph Howard, in honor of acclaimed theater critic Michael Kuchwara, who died from IPF. Howard was subsequently diagnosed with PF. The longtime newscaster passed away in 2018 after getting a life-extending lung transplant.
Founded in 2000, the PFF funds research to fight pulmonary fibrosis and supports patients and caregivers through resources and community programs, including the PFF Ambassador Program, PFF Summit, and the PFF Patient Registry.
According to the PFF, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. have pulmonary fibrosis, with about 50,000 new cases diagnosed every year.