FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2009
(Washington, DC) â€“ The National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area held its 29th Annual Kidney Ball on November 21 at the Hilton Washington. The event raised approximately $1.1 million to fight kidney disease. More than 1,100 of the Washington, DC area's top business, government, and community leaders, as well as kidney patients and their families, attended the gala and enjoyed a special performance by 2006 Rock and Rock Hall of Fame inductee Blondie.
Various celebrities came out to help raise awareness about the kidney disease epidemic in the DC area including Nyjer Morgan, Centerfielder for the Washington Nationals, Colt Brennan, Quarterback for the Washington Redskins, DC Council Member and Former Mayor Marion Barry, and his kidney donor Kim Dickens, and world renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and her husband Dr. Robert Montgomery, Chief of Transplantation at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Known for stealing bases, Nyjer Morgan stole the spotlight as he assisted in auctioning off an autographed Nat's base and VIP experience. He also offered to play wiffle ball at a children's party. Morgan along with many other supporters helped to make the live and silent auctions a big success.
"We are very grateful to the Kidney Ball supporters â€“ especially the corporate sponsors â€“ who have given their time and financial support to make this event such a success," said Preston A. Englert, Jr., CAE, Division President of the National Kidney Foundation.
Chairing the Ball this year was William Couper, President Mid-Atlantic Bank of America. Vice Chairs included Carleton S. Jones, President of the INDUS Corporation, Jim Duffey and Debbie Ikirt, CEO of Information Innovators, Inc.
A special highlight of the evening was a video tribute to Ron Paul, President of Ronald D. Paul Companies, Inc. and Chairman of EagleBank, who received the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award for his two decades of service to the National Kidney Foundation. Reflecting upon his personal experience with kidney disease Paul said, "The waiting list for organ transplants now exceeds 100,000 names. The reality is that if donors do not step up, or are not found, thousands will not survive the wait. It has been and continues to be totally unacceptable."
Paul's involvement with the National Kidney Foundation began in the 1980s when he was diagnosed with kidney disease, which eventually progressed to kidney failure. He received a kidney transplant from his brother, Steven B. Paul, at the Washington Hospital Center in 1990. Nineteen years later, in January 2009, he received a second transplant from Kathy McCallum, Chief Financial Officer of The Ronald D. Paul Companies.
The Kidney Ball is among the largest one-day fundraisers for the National Kidney Foundation nationwide, and has evolved into one of DC's premiere galas. The Washington, DC area has the highest prevalence of kidney disease in the nation, with more than 700,000 people affected, nearly 6,000 on dialysis, and more than 1,600 waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant.
Proceeds from the Kidney Ball support medical research, early detection screenings, patient and community services, professional education, and organ donation awareness in the Washington, DC region. Major event sponsors included Bank of America, Bert Smith & Co., The Bedford Falls Foundation, DaVita, Host Hotels & Resorts, IBM, Ronald D. Paul Companies, and Sutherland Media Productions.