Virtual Broadway Belts for PFF! Raises Over $346,000 for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dorothy Coyle 
dorothyccoyle@gmail.com
773-332-6201                               

 Broadway Belts 2020 Logo

(CHICAGO) March 24, 2021 – The 11th annual Broadway Belts for PFF! hosted by Broadway actress and comedienne Julie Halston (Broadway’s Tootsie, Gypsy, You Can’t Take It With You, TV’s Sex and the City), showcased 35 Broadway stars in a virtual benefit for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF). The event, which broadcasted live on March 12, raised over

$346,000 to fight pulmonary fibrosis (PF), a life-threatening disease that causes progressive scarring in the lungs. More than 200,000 Americans are living with PF.

 

For the first time, Broadway Belts for PFF! was presented in a virtual format and was live streamed on the PFF’s YouTube and Facebook channels. The event joined forces with Halston’s popular YouTube series, Virtual Halston, and featured co-host, Jim Caruso (Jim Caruso’s Cast Party) and Ruby Locknar (Producer and Technical Director).


“While we had to pivot to a virtual format for Broadway Belts for PFF! this year due to the pandemic, the event was a tremendous success thanks to the hard work, creativity, and generosity of Julie Halston and the Broadway community,” said William T. Schmidt, President and CEO of the PFF. “In addition to raising much-needed funds for research and patient programs, we spread awareness of PF to the event’s almost 15,000 viewers.”


The evening featured a dazzling lineup of stars belting out their favorite tunes to support those living with PF. Robert Creighton (Cagney, Frozen), Christine Ebersole (Grey Gardens, 42nd Street), Darlene Love (Hairspray, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame member), Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Falsettos), and Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Evita) inspired viewers with their heartfelt performances.

 

Special appearances included: Annaleigh Ashford (B Positive (CBS), Sunday in the Park with George) Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family (ABC), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling


Bee), Harvey Fierstein (Hairspray, Torch Song Trilogy), Montego Glover (Memphis, It Shoulda Been You), Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Cinderella), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton), and Mary Testa (Oklahoma!, Xanadu).


The third annual Ralph Howard Legacy Award was presented to PF advocate and PFF Board Member, Laurie Chandler. After a diagnosis of PF in her 50s, Chandler received a lung transplant. She has volunteered tirelessly for the PF community and has been at the forefront of supporting the PFF’s efforts to accelerate research and improve patient care. The award is named after Ralph Howard, Julie Halston’s late husband, who received a life-extending lung transplant and had a miraculous eight extra years of life before succumbing to complications of PF in 2018. He was a strong advocate for local community involvement and mentorship.


To culminate the evening, the Broadway Belts Chorus delighted viewers with a glorious rendition of the Wicked hit, “For Good” produced by Jonathan Hawkins & To the Muse. Members of the Broadway Belts Chorus included Colleen Ballinger, Christina Bianco, Charl Brown, Diana DeGarmo, Natalie Douglas, Aisha de Haas, Jessica Hendy, Nicolas King, Telly Leung, Ruby Locknar, Sally Mayes, Jane Monheit, Susie Mosher, T. Oliver Reid, Justin "Squigs" Robertson, Marissa Rosen, Victoria Shaw, Billy Stritch, Gene Taylor, Melanie Taylor, Marty Thomas, Rachel Ulanet, and Ace Young.


The virtual event was produced by Jim Caruso, D. Michael Dvorchak, Julie Halston, and Ruby Locknar. A special thank you to presenting sponsors Boehringer Ingelheim, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and Diane and Dave Steffy.

About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) mobilizes people and resources to provide access to high-quality care and leads research for a cure so people with pulmonary fibrosis will live longer, healthier lives. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. The PFF has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Better Business Bureau and National Health Council accredited charity. For more information, visit pulmonaryfibrosis.org or call 844.TalkPFF (844.825.5733).

 

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