Great Strides, Great Stories
Great Strides is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraiser. Every year, families, donors and friends take steps to help support the search for a cure. In this section, we’ll feature a special person or team who played an integral role in the Great Strides walks. We hope you’ll find this story to be inspiring as we continue to make Great Strides in our efforts to find a cure for CF!
Brent Pace — Team Brent Pace for Mayor
Walk: Great Strides Walk for Charleston, S.C.
Chapter: South Carolina
Team: Brent Pace for Mayor
Impact: $65,000 for 2015
Why I Stride
My parents found out that both of their kids had cystic fibrosis in the span of one week. The doctors told them that we would be lucky to make it to our teen years. It breaks my heart to think about how scary that time must have been for them. I walk so that other parents won’t have to go through what mine did.
How I Fundraise
My favorite way to raise money is by throwing myself an epic champagne birthday party every year. It started 12 years ago as just another big party, but after four or five years I decided that I really don’t need any gifts. So I suggested that people donate money to help fight CF in lieu of presents.
In the first year we raised almost $1,000, and last year we raised nearly $40,000! We are lucky enough to have the incredibly generous support of about 300 people from the Charleston community where we live. Through my band, Brent Pace for Major, and my fiancée Christine’s amazing background in fundraising, we know many of the area restaurants and people who work in entertainment, so we get food and other supplies donated. The company where I work as an environmental engineer, BP, also matches what we raise.
We don’t sell tickets to the party, we just ask everyone to donate what they can. I don’t want to exclude anybody because my goal is to raise awareness about CF, in addition to raising money.
I know my method is unconventional, and not everyone will want to throw a huge party. But I think it goes to show that there are many ways we can raise money. One of the biggest takeaways from my experience is that the best resource we all have is our network of friends and acquaintances. You’ll be amazed at how generous people are.
What the CF Foundation Means to Me
The Foundation represents hope for all the parents out there whose children have CF. If the Foundation wasn't around, I really couldn't tell you where the research toward a cure would be.
It’s quite simple: I hope that at some point in my life, I can throw my birthday party as nothing more than just a birthday party. Then all the generous people who help fight CF can focus their energy on helping another community.
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Great Strides, Great Stories
Great Strides walker Brent Pace raised $65,000 in 2015 to help support the Foundation's mission.
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