The Muscular Dystrophy Association scored big in the fight against muscular dystrophy at the ninth annual Pittsburgh Muscle Team event held Thursday, March 21 by raising more than $352,000 to help Pittsburgh-area families living with muscle disease.
The event held at Heinz Field drew hundreds of guests and participants, including Pittsburgh’s top athletes who were teamed up with an “MDA Buddy” (a local child living with a neuromuscular disease).
Guests enjoyed entertainment, live and silent auctions featuring unique sports memorabilia, and a variety of food and beverage stations.
“We had another successful Muscle Team event this year made possible by an overwhelming show of public support for MDA families,” said MDA Director of Business Development Cathy Majka. “We are truly thankful for the business and civic leaders in our community and all of the pro athletes who continue to use their muscles to help defeat muscular dystrophy and related diseases.”
This year, MDA honored Joe Lagana, Ed.D., founder and CEO of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, with the 2013 Guy Buzzelli Jr. Champion of Spirit Award. The award is given out annually to high-achieving individuals who are committed to advancing MDA’s lifesaving mission, and its worldwide research efforts seeking better treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases.
“I’m honored to be recognized by MDA and for the chance to meet so many inspirational kids from the Pittsburgh community,” Lagana said. “I have a passion for helping children and providing them with the resources to find success in life. It’s incredible to see so many others who share that passion and come together to raise funds to help support those living with muscle disease.”
Funds raised at the event directly benefit local families in the Pittsburgh area served by MDA. For more information about the Pittsburgh Muscle Team, visit pittsburghmuscleteam.org.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
In addition to funding more than 250 research projects worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of 200 medical clinics; facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters living with progressive muscle diseases.