Thursday, August 27, 2009

Press Release: Local CDH Angel Ball Needs A Real-Life Angel

August 27, 2009

Press Release:

CHERUBS, a local charity based here in the Triangle for almost 15 years is the world's oldest and largest organization for families affected by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). CDH is a devastating birth defect that occurs when the diaphragm fails to fully form, allowing abdominal organs in the chest cavity and preventing lung growth. It is a fairly common birth defect, affecting 1 in every 2500 babies. 50% of babies born with CDH do not survive. Those that do survive often endure long hospital stays. The cause of CDH is not known.

"It's practically impossible to raise funds for a cause that almost no one's ever heard of" says President, Dawn Williamson who has been volunteering for CHERUBS since she founded it in 1995. "CDH is as common as Cystic Fibrosis and Spina Bifida and yet, we have no National Telethon, no Celebrity Spokesperson and unless you've been personally affected by you, you've probably never heard of it before now". Over a half million babies have been affected by CDH since 2000 - a half million babies! That's a horrendous number and the world needs to know this is happening so that more focus is put on research. But because the public has no idea what CDH is, asking for donations for it more often than not gets us odd looks rather than funds. And in this economy, it has made it even harder"

CHERUBS is an international organization that supports families, providing dozens of services that no other organization offers. With 3000 members and a shoe-string budget of only about $15,000 CHERUBS is run on a wing and prayer.

The Angel Ball began last year as a way to raise local awareness of CDH and raise money to fund the organization's services. It went beautifully last year with the community chipping in services such as event planning, auction services, food, photography and floral arrangements. Men arrived in tuxedos and women in white gowns, many wearing their wedding dresses again for the event. A local band and radio DJ were on hand to bring music and fun to the formal event as well. The organization raised $6000 dollars in it's first year through ticket sales, auction and raffle items. The response was so positive that already the event's web site is being inundated with ticket requests for this year's event. CHERUBS was expecting approximately 200 attendees at this year's event.

"We were hoping that we could raise $25,000 this year. We have had a lot of interest in ticket sales, just none in sponsorships. With our donations so low this year because of the economy, our hopes were that the Angel Ball would something that we could count on annually to help these families all year long. It's devastating and frustrating that we may have to cancel this event but without the $10,000 in sponsorship money that our event planners are requiring for event costs, we will have to cancel. At this point, the Angel Ball needs an angel to make it happen."

For more information on the Angel Ball you can visit the event's site at


Dawn Williamson
3650 Rogers Rd #290, Wake Forest, NC 27587

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