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story.lead_photo.caption Sharon Belto

Editor’s note: A regular Sunday feature, Personified will put a face on area organizations. This week, we introduce Sharon Belto, Arkansas Chapter, board president, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sharon Belto

Board President

Arkansas Chapter

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Day job: Trilliant Foods senior vice president customer service development

• Mission: The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.

• Services provided: Medical research, ensuring quality care for all patients with CF, and providing programs the help with the many complications of the disease.

• Average number of people served annually: 30,000 nationally

How is your organization’s mission unique?

In 1955, when the Foundation was founded, children with Cf rarely lived long enough to attend elementary school. Today, people are living into there 30s, 40s and beyond, achieving milestones like attending college, getting married and having children — goals that used to seem impossible. This is due in large to the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the amazing CF community. We helped discover the gene that causes CF, created a state-of-the-art model for CF care and have funded groundbreaking research.

Why do you support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation? I got involved through the supplier community when someone asked me to participate in the Great Strides walk. We have so many great nonprofit organizations in the area and I try to be somewhat selective with where I give my time. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has the highest percentage of funds raised going toward finding a cure. I was intrigued by the fact they don’t get any government funding. That’s heart-wrenching when you consider that it affects our children.

What challenges face your organization? Approximately 30,000 people in the U.S. have cystic fibrosis, and with no government funding provided, we must reach as many people as possible to fund raise to help advance the research. We won’t stop until there is a cure for every person with CF!

Are there volunteer opportunities in your organization? What are they? Yes, we have many opportunities to volunteer by helping at events, serving on committees and being a part of our new Tomorrow’s Leaders young professional group.

What upcoming fund-raisers and/or other events does your organization have planned?

Northwest Arkansas Wine Opener, Feb. 9, John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers; Great Strides, May 5, J.B. Hunt Park in Springdale; Weekend with the Finest, with Golf this Way, on Sept. 7 at Springdale Country Club’ and Walk This Way with the Finest on Sept. 8 at Fayetteville Town Center.

Print Headline: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation taking ‘great strides’

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