BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling The Arthritis Foundation of Massachusetts whose mission is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases.
The foundation’s budget averages about $600,000 a year. That money pays for overhead costs, the salaries of their four employees and all the services and programs the organization provides. The entire budget is funded through the foundation’s three signature fundraising events, including their big gala being held this year at the JFK Library on October 25th.
“Beautiful evening to give tribute to some of Boston’s finest doctors. We give out the Marion Ropes Award to a rheumatologist and an orthopedic surgeon,” senior development director Andrea Savisky said.
Savisky says they’ll also be holding a “Jingle Bell Run,” December 9th, on the Common.
Savisky outlined, “It’s one of those themed holiday events where people come dressed up in costumes. They come dressed as elves, and Santa, and it’s a great family event.”
The foundation’s main fundraiser is coming up June 24th. “The Walk to Cure Arthritis” will be held at Canal Park in Cambridge.
“It’s the largest gathering of the Arthritis community in all of New England. And we are really proud it’s growing every year in participation and fundraising support,” Savisky stated.
Dr. Dan Solomon from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School has been named Medical Honoree for this year’s walk. He’s thrilled with the close collaboration he’s had with the foundation over the years.
“They were one of the first funders of some of my research on arthritis and they’ve been a steady stream of support for many of us as researchers as well. They provide tremendous information and programing for patients with arthritis,” Solomon stated.
The main sponsor of the walk is Flexion Therapeutics out of Burlington. Flexion’s Scott Young says their sponsorship is a win-win for both organizations.
“The missions are so closely aligned. Flexion is bio pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies for the treatment of muscular skeletal conditions, beginning with osteoarthritis. And the Arthritis foundation and their commitment to advancing new treatments and hopefully finding a cure for this progressive and very serious disease, just makes it a natural collaboration for us,” said Young.
Everyone involved in the fundraising is working towards the same goal.
“The idea for all these fundraisers is to raise enough money to find a cure ultimately for arthritis,” Savisky concluded.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Kim Tunnicliffe Reports