Benaroya Research Institute to Become New Beneficiary of Boeing Classic

Seattle, WA
01/20/2010

Tournament preparation ramps up as the Champions Tour begins its 2010 season this weekend with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai

SEATTLE-(January 21, 2010)-The Boeing Classic announced today that the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) has been named the new beneficiary of the Champions Tour event. BRI is an international leader in autoimmune disease research and is one of the few research institutes in the world dedicated to finding causes and cures to eliminate autoimmune diseases including Type 1 diabetes, arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma and many others.

First established in 1956 as the Virginia Mason Research Center, the work being done at the Seattle-based institution is especially relevant and impactful locally as the Pacific Northwest has a higher prevalence of multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes than the national average.
“We are honored to be selected as the beneficiary of the Boeing Classic,” said Gerald Nepom, MD, PhD, Director of BRI. “With the high visibility and public support of the Boeing Classic, we believe this will be a great partnership for increasing awareness of these devastating diseases that disproportionately affect people in the Pacific Northwest."

Since its inception in 2005, the Heart Institute at Virginia Mason had previously been the primary beneficiary of the Boeing Classic tournament. The annual PGA Champions Tour event not only raised funds for new equipment and services related to the treatment of heart disease provided by Virginia Mason’s extraordinary heart program, but also provided a platform to communicate the importance of the prevention of heart disease and leading a heart-healthy lifestyle.

“The efforts put forth for the past five years by our staff and volunteers to improve the lives of people in our community is what makes the Boeing Classic a truly unique and powerful event,” said Michelle DeLancy, Tournament Director. “By partnering with BRI we have the opportunity to work with and support an organization that we in the Northwest should be very proud of, whose world-renowned research is translating discoveries to real-life applications for these devastating diseases.

“On behalf of the staff and volunteers of the Boeing Classic, we want to thank the heart institute team for all its work and collaboration over the past five years and we sincerely hope that our efforts will have a long-lasting impact on the treatment and prevention of heart disease.”

The Boeing Classic is an Official Event of the PGA TOUR Champions Tour and in 2009 celebrated its fifth anniversary.  In the tournament’s five-year history, more than $2.9 million has been raised for Greater Seattle Charities.  The 2010 event will take place from August 23-29.  For additional tournament information, log on to www.BoeingClassic.com.

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