Wednesday, 13 March 2019

American Airlines celebrity ski raises $1.4 million for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

 The 34th annual American Airlines Celebrity Ski Weekend in Beaver Creek, Colorado, concluded on March 3 and raised more than $1.4 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Guests were joined at the event by dozens of celebrities — including Colton Underwood, Colin Cowherd, Louis Van Amstel, Perrey Reeves and Kimberlin Brown, to name a few — for a weekend of skiing, food and other entertainment. All funds raised from the event will go directly to support the Foundation’s mission to find a cure for all people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Pictured here, from left: Piper Beatty Welsh with sisters Sam Pelican Monson and Libby Pelican Seamans have been coming to American Airlines Celebrity Ski for nearly 30 years. They have directly benefited from the funds raised and the research made possible because of this event.

"When this event began 34 years ago, we could have only imagined the promising treatments and science that has since been realized to assist patients with cystic fibrosis,” said Elise Eberwein, Executive Vice President – People & Engagement for American. “The critical work of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is changing lives and giving individuals living with CF more tomorrows. Together with the more than 30 team member and retiree volunteers who bring this event to life every year, we are committed to continuing to bring attention and research dollars to orphan diseases like CF."

To date, American Airlines Celebrity Ski has raised more than $40 million to fund research for a cure for CF. As a direct result of this event, significant advances have been made in the development of both gene and drug therapies as treatments for CF patients.

CF is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of more than 30,000 Americans each year. Breakthrough treatments have added several years to the lives of people with cystic fibrosis and improved the quality of their lives. In the 1950s, children with CF rarely lived long enough to attend elementary school; today they are living into their 40s and beyond.

“American Airlines has shown an unwavering commitment to the foundation’s mission for more than 30 years, making an enormous difference in the lives of those impacted by cystic fibrosis. Their generous support has helped us make investments that have resulted in improved care and new therapies, dramatically improving the lives of people with CF,” said Marc Ginsky, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
More than 30 years ago, three young girls who live with CF were introduced at the event, and participants have watched their struggles and their victories over the years. Sisters Sam Pelican Monson and Libby Pelican Seamans, along with Piper Beatty Welsh, are now in their 30s and married. Sam and Libby have children of their own. Piper is a lawyer who works for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Throughout the weekend, more than 30 American Airlines team members, retirees and their loved ones worked hundreds of hours to make the event a success. One of those team members is Boston (BOS)-based Flight Attendant Jeannine Pavlik.

“I’ve been volunteering for American Airlines Celebrity Ski for more than 30 years, and one of the things I love most about this experience is working with the other volunteers from American,” commented Jeannine. “We come from all different walks of life and backgrounds and inspire one another.”

Last year when American announced a $1,000 bonus for all team members, Jeannine knew exactly what she was going to do with the money — donate it to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “It was money that I wasn’t expecting. I gratefully appreciated the generosity of American and wanted to give back monetarily in addition to volunteering for this event. Every dollar raised at this event helps get us one step closer to finding a cure. This event is bigger than anything we can do individually, and I was proud to give my bonus to such an incredible cause.”

For more information about the ways American gives back to the community, visit