Broadway stars to belt out for PF fundraiser March 18

In its 14th year, the annual Broadway Belts for PFF! has raised more than $3M

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by Mary Chapman |

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For the 14th year, a cast of Broadway luminaries will take the stage for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s (PFF) largest fundraiser, Broadway Belts for PFF!

The March 18 gala, which may also be viewed virtually, will raise funds and awareness for the more than 250,000 U.S. residents thought to live with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) — a chronic disease that causes scar tissue to build up in the lungs and whose prevalence is rising, with around 50,000 new cases being diagnosed annually.

The evening of presentations and showtune performances by some of Broadway’s most notable stars will take place at Sony Hall in New York City. Tickets for the in-person event are $1,000 each and cover reserved main-floor seating, a pre-cocktail reception and hors-d’oeuvres, a three-course dinner, and an invitation to the event after-party. An open bar will also be available.

There’s no charge to view the benefit concert’s livestreamed version, but attendees must still register. Note that Broadway Belts for PFF! will not be recorded.

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Hosted by Tony award-winning actress and comedienne Julie Halston

Hosted again by Tony award-winning actress and comedienne Julie Halston, the event will also feature Liz Callaway, Grammy award nominee for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and Tony nominee for “Baby,” and who also appeared in “Miss Saigon” and “Cats.” The evening’s stars will also include Robert Creighton of “Frozen” and “Cagney”; Jose Llana, who appeared in “Here Lies Love” and “The King and I”; and Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer of “Spamalot,” “Beetlejuice,” and “A Catered Affair.” Other cast members, who have yet to be announced, will join the evening’s lineup.

“The Broadway community is deeply committed to raising their voices in support of people with pulmonary fibrosis, a devastating illness and growing threat to lung health,” Halston, who received the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award in 2021 for raising funds for PFF, said in a press release. “We invite everyone to join us for this remarkable event — an unparalleled performance and a meaningful opportunity to contribute to a vital cause.”

The event will again feature the presentation of the Ralph Howard Legacy Award, named for Halston’s husband, a longtime New York-area broadcaster who died in 2018, a decade after his PF diagnosis. Howard and Halston established the fundraiser in 2010 to honor Michael Kuchwara, an Associated Press theater critic who died that year from complications of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a form of PF that has no clear cause.

We invite everyone to join us for this remarkable event — an unparalleled performance and a meaningful opportunity to contribute to a vital cause.

This year’s Ralph Howard Legacy Award goes to Hales Family Foundation

This year’s award will go to the Hales Family Foundation, led by New York business executive Thomas E. Hales, who died in 2020. A PF patient who received a double-lung transplant in 2007, Hales supported the PF community for more than a decade and was a PFF board member emeritus. His son, Terence Hales, is on the organization’s board, and launched the PFF Walk New York City, now in its 15th year. The fundraiser has raised more than $1 million to date.

“This phenomenal celebration is only possible because of the generosity and devotion of Julie Halston and her dear friends in the Broadway community,” said Seth Klein, PFF’s chief development officer. “We are delighted to offer this star-studded, uplifting experience in person and virtually, extending the profound impact of our mission with as many people as possible.”

Broadway Belts for PFF! has raised more than $3 million — $465,000 last year — for disease research and to support PF patients and their families.

For more information or to sponsor the event, send an email to [email protected], or call 312-239-3940.

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