MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 2, 2016) – The Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation today announced Minnesota-based M.A. Mortenson Company and community leaders Dave and Linda Mona – all major supporters of the local organization – as award recipients for its 2016 Breath of Life Gala set for Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.
Mortenson and the Monas will be honored at the gala, one of the largest non-profit events in the Twin Cities, for their immense contributions toward advancing the Foundation’s cause of curing cystic fibrosis and providing all people living 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.
“By working collaboratively with companies like Mortenson and individuals like the Monas, we believe that one day, CF will stand for ‘cure found,’” said Joe Schwei, executive director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Mortenson’s Philanthropic Impact
Mortenson’s involvement with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation dates back to 1994 when senior executive Paul Cossette, then based in Seattle, asked his company to support a cause close to his family’s heart. When the Cossette’s moved back to Minnesota in 2001, Paul and his wife Suzy brought their passion and their commitment for a cure with them.
Since 2005, Mortenson has been the Breath of Life Gala Title Sponsor. In addition, the company expanded its partnership with the Minnesota/Dakotas chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Throughout the year, Mortenson executive teams and its team members work strategically with the Foundation by engaging up-and-coming leaders with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Twin Cities Finest. By leveraging their deep community business connections and sharing their passion for the Foundation’s cause, Mortenson has helped raise over $10 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“We are incredibly thankful to everyone at Mortenson for their sponsorship and support over the last 16 years,” Schwei said. “Our Breath of Life Gala would not be where it is today without Mortenson’s incredible and long support. We are thrilled to honor the company, along with Paul Cossette, Mortensen senior vice president and honorary chair, at this year’s event.”
Dave and Linda Mona’s Personal Ties
Dave and Linda Mona of Edina, well-known business and community leaders, will be presented the organization’s Angela Warner Friend of the Foundation Award.
Schwei said of the Monas: “They are truly part of the philanthropic backbone of our community, and they are passionate about helping others. From Gopher Sports to the arts to health-related causes such as cystic fibrosis, the Monas give and inspire others to make a difference in our community.”
Dave and Linda’s only grandson, Camden, was born in November 2007 and diagnosed with CF at just three days old. Prior to their grandson’s arrival, Dave had volunteered as a board member for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, so the Monas understood the weight of the diagnosis. Dave and Linda immersed themselves in research and learned that much of the money spent on CF research came from family fundraisers. Given their love of music and experience hosting special events, the Monas decided to put on Camden’s Concert, a benefit that had a goal of raising $10,000. They met their goal, with every dollar spent on tickets and silent auction goods going to further the mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and have held a concert every year since.
Schwei added: “From nearly the moment they learned of Camden’s diagnosis, Dave and Linda put their fears behind them and came together to support one another and the local community by holding Camden’s Concert.”
Since then, the Monas have brought influential community members closer to the CFF mission and have helped raise more than $350,000 for the local chapter. Camden, who will be 9 this month, enjoys excellent health. The Monas recently booked The Wright Brothers to return on July 11, 2017 for Camden’s Concert VIII.
The annual Breath of Life Gala brings together more than 700 friends, colleagues and supporters of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation from across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, who are committed to working together to raise funds to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. The evening includes a silent and live auction, dinner performance by a live band, dancing and much more. More information about the gala can be found at breathoflifeminnesota.eventscff.org. Area residents can also support the Foundation on Give to the Max Day on Nov. 17.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The CF Foundation funds more cystic fibrosis research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of CF Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the CF Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, please visit https://www.cff.org/Minnesota/. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
For Mortenson: Cameron Snyder, [email protected], (763) 287-5493
For Dave & Linda Mona: Sally Mollman, [email protected], 952-346-6136
For CFF: Joe Schwei, [email protected], 651-631-3290 x16