The 10th Anniversary DC Brewer’s Ball benefiting The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was held Saturday night at the always beautiful National Building Museum, its 3rd straight year at the site. The event was hosted by the Matchbox Food Group and presented by The Beer Institute and Groupon.
A live auction began with a chance to score commemorative cufflinks, looking to entice the crowd starting with bids of $10,000. Nobody took up the $10k bid, although there was a suitor at $7,500, and more at the lower levels.
The silent auction featured a massive collection of hundreds of items, from sports memorabilia to restaurant experiences and excursions, gift baskets of wine, beer and sake to lavish big-ticket vacations. Guests were able to quickly make bids and easily search for items via their cellphones, after registering their number and credit card at the door.
Before the auction, a series of speakers took to the stage to inform guests on why they truly here. Beyond the beer drinking, that is.
Cystic fibrosis affects 30,000 people in the United States, and 10 million more people carry the gene which causes the disease. Its sufferers struggle with severe respiratory problems, and an ongoing, daily fight of hours-long treatments and dozens of pills. On average, those with CF lose 2% of their lung functionality each year.
The CF Foundation has raised and invested hundreds of millions of dollars to help develop cystic fibrosis drugs and therapies, and the life expectancy of a child with CF has more than doubled in the last 30 years. Research is more promising than ever, and real progress towards a cure has been made, as The CF Foundation looks to produce the first cure for a genetic disease ever. It’s an ongoing, uphill fight though.
The fight is a personal one for title sponsor Matchbox Food Group, as partner Drew Kim’s 4-year-old niece Maelynn was diagnosed with CF shortly after birth. Both he and his brother shared their story with the crowd, which did more to spur on big-time bidding than all of the “bidding juice”, i.e., beer, in the building.
Combined, more than 60 breweries and restaurants were on hand, ensuring guests went home happy, and assuredly via public transportation. I know I also came away with an increased understanding of cystic fibrosis, and a powerful impression of its effects on the lives of those who have it, and the ways that the CF Foundation is making an impact.
For more information on The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, visit CFF.org.