Host Your Own Event for Benaroya Research Institute

While BRI makes great strides in immunology research, the work is far from finished. The statistics related to autoimmune disease research are still startling. They affect 1 in 15 Americans and are one of the top 10 leading causes of death in female children and women.

If you are passionate about autoimmune disease research, consider hosting an event of support on your own. It can be big or small and whatever you enjoy: organizing a cocktail party, hosting a poker tournament, having proceeds from a one-day sale benefit BRI – all raising awareness and support within your circle of friends, family and beyond.

As a not-for-profit organization, BRI relies on financial support from friends and supporters to continue searching for ways to prevent, treat, halt and ultimately eliminate these devastating diseases. For ideas, information and helpful tools go to the Community Fundraising resource for the Virginia Mason Health System, of which BRI is a part, and click on “Start Fundraising” to begin organizing your event.  

Below are examples of events BRI supporters have hosted to raise both awareness and funds for BRI’s lifesaving research:

Fanning Golf Tournament

  • The David J. Fanning Memorial Golf Tournament was started by a group of friends in June 2011 to honor David Fanning. Dave was a devoted husband and father, respected businessman and an avid golfer. The tournament is an opportunity for friends and family to share memories about Dave while playing a game he enjoyed and supporting a cause he was passionate about - finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. BRI was chosen to be the beneficiary of the event because of its mission to eliminate autoimmune diseases and its innovative type 1 diabetes research program.

Chuck & Mary Kastner

  • On July 22, 2012, Chuck Kastner took the plunge - literally - to fight autoimmune diseases by racing in the Benaroya Research Institute Seafair Triathlon. Chuck knows firsthand the heartache and pain that autoimmune diseases cause. His wife, Mary, has three autoimmune diseases - relapsing polychondritis, which attacks her cartilage; dermatomyositis, which attacks her muscles; and Crohn's disease, which attacks her digestive tract. These diseases have made life a daily struggle for Mary for the last 14 years.  Chuck not only finished the triathlon half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride and 5-K race, with the support of his family and friends, he raised $12,000 to support research at BRI.

Cure 4 Type 1

  • On Nov. 14, 2012, in honor of World Diabetes Day, the Cure 4 Type 1 Foundation issued a challenge to the Facebook community.  For every "like" that Cure 4 Type 1's Facebook page received, the organization would donate $10 to diabetes research at Benaroya Research Institute. Later that evening the challenge was extended by an anonymous donor, who offered to donate another $1,000 if the page received 1,000 "likes" by the end of the month. Needless to say, the social networking community rose to the challenge, and Cure 4 Type 1 donated a check for $11,000 to BRI to continue innovative type 1 diabetes research. Cure 4 Type 1 chose to support the research being done at BRI because of its successful record of discovery, particularly in the area of type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.

Land of Orz

  • What do you get when you mix Italian food, fireworks, family and friends? Fundraising for fun and a good cause. For the past 40 Fourth of July holidays, the Bylund and Hoglund families have gathered more than 200 people in their Bellevue backyard for a celebration and an auction. The family decided to donate the funds to various health-related charities throughout the Puget Sound area. Over the past 19 years, the family’s club called “The Sign of the Orz” has donated more than $80,000 to research at Benaroya Research Institute. They wanted to support BRI's research to advance medical treatments for others.


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