Morgan City native heads cystic fibrosis fundraiser

LAFAYETTE — The second annual Allison Companies Lafayette Wine Opener presented by Moss Motors was “uncorked” in November at River Oaks in Lafayette and raised about $375,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Guests were treated to a host of culinary delights prepared by Executive Chef Brian Blanchard paired with fine wines donated by Glazer’s Companies of Louisiana. Popular local band Krossfyre was sponsored by The Billy & Clara Mosing Foundation.

Chairman of the event was Morgan City native Steve Orlando, chairman of Allison Marine Holdings.

From wine novices to advanced wine enthusiasts, The Allison Companies Lafayette Wine Opener presented by Moss Motors was an exciting evening for all experience levels.

Erin Achberger, executive director for the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, said, “The Wine Opener was such an emotional evening. Many families affected by this disease spoke at the event and really helped inform those who were in attendance about the disease and reinforced the reason why we were there.”

Achberger said Steve and Lisa Orlando, whose granddaughter, Bella, has cystic fibrosis, co-chaired the event.

“They had a fabulous group of family and friends supporting them this year,” she said. “With many local companies stepping up in support of the Orlando Family and Allison Companies, we were able to raise about $375,000.”

Steve Orlando said, “I am humbled by the generosity of so many friends. It was amazing.”

A Harley Davidson Ultra Classic was won by The Cye Courtois family.

Major sponsors included Black Elk Energy, Berard Transportation, Gulf Offshore Logistics, Lincolnshire Management, Offshore Cleaning Systems, The Shane & Holley Guidry Foundation, Team Energy Services, Hank Robards, A N.E.W. Rock Co., Hillman Investments, Louisiana Valve Source, EMR Group, Major Equipment & Remediation, Morgan City Rentals, Morgan Keegan, Frank Domino Jr., Southland Energy Services, Thomas Financial, River Rental Tools, UBS Leeds Eustis, Control Concepts & Tech, Cullen Prop, Empire Scaffold, Fort Bend Kia, Brent and Ashley Boudreaux, SKBAA CPA’s and the Cefalu family.

Leigh Anne Bernard, Anna Cefalu, Kenny Cefalu, Mary Chesley, Katherine Domingue, Ron Hayes, Dr. David Jewell, Samantha Kitchen, Val Kowalski, Jessica Orlando, Amy Owens, Ben Reed, Noelle Reed, Hank Robards, Jeff Rosteet, Christy Singleton, Liz Thompson Favret and Lexi Vincent served as the 2012 Wine Opener planning committee.

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects about 30,000 people in the United States. A defective gene causes the body to produce abnormally thick, sticky mucus that leads to chronic and life-threatening lung-infections and impairs digestion. When the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was created in 1955, few children lived to attend elementary school. Today, because of research and care supported by the foundation with money raised through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations, the median age of survival for a person with cystic fibrosis is more than 37 years.

For more information on cystic fibrosis, visit www.cff.org.

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