Sunday, November 20, 2011

I am thankful for... I am thankful for all of the reachers, scientist,the cystic fibrosis foundation, nurses and doctors who have dedicated their lives in the fight against CF. The video clip above shows us how our fundraising dollars are at work, and people are literally breathing easier because of it! Until there's a cure, Jenny

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What’s that saying? “Oh what a difference a day can make…” Well, how bout a decade? As we head into 2012, it’ll mark 10 years that I have had the honor to fight with Sal and his extended family, along side of hundreds of other dedicated souls to fight for a cure for CF.
I’ve been sitting here staring at a blank computer screen for an hour… thinking about how Sal and Sal’s Pals has impacted my life… and just how to put it into words. I read previous blog entries, and I mirror the sentiments written before me. I too began my fight against CF stemming from a long time friendship with Jenny and Rick. Jenny and I met at Christ the King, and have remained like sisters ever since. I always knew Jenny was strong. I’ve always admired her ability to make it through – no matter what the situation. She’s a rock. She’s funny. She’s passionate. She’s hardworking. She’s inspiring. All qualities that, from day 1, have enabled her to handle the fact that Sal has CF with such grace.
I met Rick when he and Jenny began dating in high school. We were all inseparable for many years… and when I would come home from college for the summer, Ginny Pinardo was kind enough to let me basically live at her house. Even back then, Rick was always the man in charge. He always had a plan and a “to-do” list. He was known to have The Book of Hoyle on hand to make sure we were playing (usually Euchre) by the rules. He was the man of the house at a young age… While we were lounging around his pool, he was up at the crack of dawn going to work. He always took care of us… and people always looked up to him. Whether he knew it or not, he took on this leading role with a sincere sense of humanity. He always welcomed people in, the more the merrier… And he always had a good time, no matter where we were or what we were doing. These too are qualities that I think still hold true to this day, and are very evident to all of us involved with Sal’s Pals.
Fast Forward to the day Sal was diagnosed: I remember slamming down my phone, rushing out my office door and speeding to the hospital and walking into the ICU – surveying the room. I remember feeling helpless. Not even knowing what CF was, I just knew it was bad. I heard that life expectancy was very young, and my mind couldn’t help but immediately think of unimaginable pain, and loss for my dear friends and their sweet baby boy. Rick and I went outside to take a walk, and I remember the heart-breaking conversation of a father’s hopes and dreams for his son… to grow up strong, healthy and happy, and to one day play football. It’s kind of ironic – because now, here we are 10 years later, and this blog site has a specific post of Sal in a football uniform… playing tackle football with his dad standing proud on the sidelines…
From that day on, Jenny and Rick have handled this situation true to character. Strong. Passionate. Inspiring. They made a plan. A plan to fight. A plan to raise money. A plan to give hope. They have made the ultimate “to-do” list, taken charge, worked hard; and because of their magnetic sprits have created a following of dedicated supporters. People who love Sal. People with will and drive and passion. People who have dedicated themselves to finding a cure for Sal and so many others. And in this journey of giving, I think I speak for all of us when I say that I have been given SO much more than I could’ve ever imagined. After the very first Sal’s Pals Dinner Auction we had at the Elks on Holland Sylvania Avenue… I remember I emailed Jenny and Rick thanking them for letting me be part of such a fun and inspiring event. I told them that Sal’s Pals had changed me. At the time that I wrote that email, I had no idea just how much we would all continue to be changed, and grow in this fight against CF.
The day after Memorial Day this year, I was summonsed to Jury Duty. I was there for a VERY LONG 8 hours praying I would get sent home… that is until I made a friend in a crowd of strangers… A woman who saw my orange Sal’s Pals bracelet and knows someone who comes to our events. By the end of our discussion, she gave me her email address so that I could let her know when the next event was going to be so that she and her husband can attend… The point is: We have expanded our footprint within the fight against CF. Now, almost 10 years later, people in our community know what Sal’s Pals is. Even if they’ve never been to an event, or even if they don’t know Sal. Every time this happens, I get excited and more motivated to keep pushing to create awareness and support for our cause.
The beauty of Sal’s Pals, in my opinion is that we started out a small “grass-roots” type operation, and have turned it into what is now: one of the largest fund raising groups for CF in the country. Over one-half a MILLION dollars raised – and counting! This money has gone to research for medications that by all reports have made significant strides in the battle to cure CF. These medications have improved the quality of life for those with CF. But most important, these developments have motivated us, as a group, to fight harder than ever to spread awareness, raise money, and find a cure. Our determination is steadfast. We will NOT ever stop working until we reach our goal.
For me personally, I have learned an important life lesson because of my involvement with Sal’s Pals: Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In the beginning, I remember being apprehensive to ask people to donate to Sal’s Pals. But this process, and watching my fellow committee members in action have showed me that when you have passion, and want to do good in the world – people want to help. So, it’s not about asking for money… it’s about spreading that passion in order to create change. So, to all of you who have given your time, or your hard earned dollars – Thank you! Your contributions have not only helped the CF Foundation. Your generosity has opened my eyes and my heart to see the real good that lies within us as people.
Jenny and Rick: You are both truly two of the greatest people I have ever known… and I thank you for your friendship, your leadership, and your commitment to the CFF. Being a part of Sal’s Pals is one of the most meaningful experiences that I will ever have in my life. Sal: You are an inspiration. Getting a ring-side seat to watch you grow up has been a true joy in my life. You are so funny and resilient… and you make it easy for people to want to give. You are loved by so many!!!! It is because of you that we started this journey… and in doing so, countless lives have been impacted… and in the end, countless lives will be saved!

Until there’s a cure,
Erin Dzierwa

Tattoo Party to benefit Sal's Pals

Toledo Tattoo Company/Tattoo For A Cure
Saturday, August 13, 2011

Toledo Tattoo Company-
401 Superior
Rossford, OH

Toledo Tattoo Company would like to Invite you to our First EVER Tattooing for a Cure and open house at our NEW Rossford studio. All proceeds and donations go to Sal's Pals ( Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). Hope to See you there!!! Also, if you would like work done on this day, please contact us ASAP! Thank you! (419) 720-1100

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Annie and Lena's Kiddie Carnival
Saturday July 9th
4937 Rudgate Toledo, Ohio

***$15 for a family which includes dinner. There will be games, tie dye, water slides, face painting and much more!Come join us for some family fun Saturday!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 charity dinner and auction

Well after 9 years we finally have this thing down! We have raised an unbelievable one-hundred,five-thousand dollars for 2011 and the donations keep coming in. Nine years ago when we entered into this journey we call fundraising the life expectancy for those with cystic fibrosis was a measly 25 years old. Now today the life expectancy is 37 years of age. 37 still isn't long enough but the amount of drugs and treatments available today has more than quadrupled since we had our first event. The newest drug on the horizon is aimed at the basic defect and the initial research is very promising.This means cf patients could take a pill to lesson the affects of their disease and ultimately live long productive lives free of the cruelty that cf leaves behind. So when you hear,"dollars buy science and science buys life for those with cystic fibrosis", Sal is living proof that these dollars are providing the necessary drugs and treatments that are keeping him healthy and strong.
Thanks so much to our committee and all of our volunteers for sharing of your time and talents. Special congrats to Erin Dzierwa and Angie O'Loughlin who are the 2011 Spirit of Humanity award winners. Dan Haffner of Haffner Florists and Jean and Joe Papp were honored this year for Sponsoring the Sal's Pals Event every year since it's existence.New friends of Sal's Pals, all the way from New York are The Cassalina Family. Margarete and Marc have two children with cystic fibrosis and have dedicated their lives to finding a cure. Margarete's book, Beyond Breathing gives us an account of her life's journey with cystic fibrosis. It's an amazing story and your life will surely be changed from reading this treasure. Margarete came all the way from New York to be our guest speaker and the audiance loved her!

Bp Oil and UPS Auto Logistics continue to be Title Sponsors for the Event. Both companies recently finished their respective golf outings and continue to help us in our fight against cf. Special thanks to Terry Jiannuzzi from BP, Jeremy Reinhart and Dave Sprock from UPS. These gentlemen continue to influence the individuals around them and help spread awareness of cystic fibrosis that in turn leads to funds for vital research. Thank you could never be enough for all that you do but I know that's not what motivates you!But I will say it any way, Thanks for all of your hard work and preparation in planning the golf outings.

Annie and Lena's Kiddie Carnival is coming up next! We hope you can join us!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Casino Trip to Greek Town is planned for Saturday March 12, 2011. Seats are limited call us for details!

Well, according to Punxsutawney Phil winter is almost over! Which means that the Annual Dinner and Auction is just around the corner. Mark your calenders for Saturday May 14Th!

Dedicated family and friends continue to come together throughout the year to volunteer, organize and participate in our events. Being working parents of 3 busy children is exhausting in itself. Trying to add more time for charity work, most days feels impossible. And in all honesty if Rick and I didn't have these dedicated individuals to motivate and inspire us I know that Sal's Pals would not be as successful as it is today. Sal continues to serve as a constant reminder for Rick and I about why it's so important to raise money and bring awareness for Cystic Fibrosis. Often times I forget that Sal has a disease because he IS doing so well. Then I have to remind myself how that came to be.Sal takes over 32 pills a day...and he is healthy. The life expectancy for CF continues to rise, 37 years to be exact. It has risen 10 years in Sal's lifetime! The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation continues to build it's pipeline for new medications that are aimed at treating cf, managing symptoms and ultimately eradication it all together.I know that Sal does so well because of the medications and treatments that are available for him. Rick and I want to ensure that dollar by dollar, event by event that the medication pipeline is able to develop the necessary medications to keep Sal healthy!

It is easy for one to understand Rick and I's passion for fighting cf but Iam always amazed at the dedication and time our friends and family put forth. So I asked one of our friends to share with all of you, why he has joined in our fight.Kris is a teacher at Sal's school but was a friend long before Sal was a student.

Dear Sal,

Energetic. Enthusiastic. Spirited. These are all qualities of an average 10 year old. Sure you share these qualities, but you are far from "average.” I’m sure anyone that has met you would agree.

From your contagious giggle and smile to your cockiness (of which, I’m sure you got from your father); your ability to exaggerate slightly to your strut in the hallway (of which, you definitely got from your father). But, most importantly, it’s your huge heart that sets you apart from your peers.

Before I met you, I didn’t know anyone that had Cystic Fibrosis or even had a clue what CF is. I would imagine that the hundreds of people that attend the dinner, wine opening, or golf scramble didn’t know what CF was either before they met you. In fact, I don’t think the majority of the people go to those events to fight CF. The majority attend each event because they, like me, have fallen in love with you. And it’s because you have CF that we fight.

Next year, when you’re in the 5th grade, I'll have the pleasure to teach you - but little do you know that you’ve already taught me far more than I can ever teach you. You’ve taught me how to give; taught me how to live; and taught me how to be a better person. And for that….I thank you!

With much love,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy New Year

Sal's Pals 9th Annual Dinner and Auction will be held Saturday May 14th at St. Francis de Sales High School. Doors open at 6pm. Please join us as we continue to fight CF!