December 1, 2011

Contact: Michele Anthony
(202) 244-7900 Ext. 29

National Kidney Foundation Hosts Million Dollar Gala to Fight Kidney Disease in the Washington, DC Area

Event Features Entertainment by KC & the Sunshine Band

Washington, DC – The National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area hosted its 31st Annual Kidney Ball on November 19 at the Hilton Washington. The event raised $1 million to fight kidney disease in the Washington, DC area. KC & the Sunshine Band entertained the 900 guests that included the region’s top business, government, and community leaders, as well as kidney patients and their families.

The Kidney Ball is one of the largest fundraisers for the National Kidney Foundation nationwide, and has evolved over the last three decades into one of DC’s premiere galas. The Washington, DC area has the highest prevalence of kidney disease in the nation, with more than 700,000 people affected, nearly 6,000 on dialysis, and more than 1,500 waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant.

“We are very grateful to the Kidney Ball supporters – especially the corporate sponsors – who have given their time and financial support to make this event such a success,” said Preston A. Englert, Jr., CAE, Division President and Government Relations Director of the National Kidney Foundation.

Serving as the 2011 Kidney Ball Chair was George Wilson, Chief Strategy Officer, ECS, Inc., who at the Ball thanked the committee for their hard work and emphasized how important the Kidney Ball is in generating funds for research and promoting awareness of kidney disease. Vice Chair of this year’s Kidney Ball was Debbie Ikirt, CEO of Information Innovators, Inc.

Rick Eckstein, Washington Nationals Hitting Coach, spoke at the event about his family history of kidney disease and the important work that the National Kidney Foundation does. In 2010 he donated a kidney to his brother who suffered from renal disease. “Aside from marrying my wife, donating my kidney to my brother was the most important thing I have done in my life.”

Stu Bloch, Chairman of Congressional Bank, was this year’s recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award. Bloch took part in a record-breaking kidney exchange involving 26 patients -- 13 donors and 13 recipients -- at Georgetown University Hospital and the Washington Hospital Center in the fall of 2009. He now hosts the annual “Blochbusta Classic” to benefit local and national charities.

Proceeds from the Kidney Ball support medical research, early detection screenings, patient and community services, professional education, and organ donation awareness in the Washington, DC region. Major event sponsors included Bank of New York – Mellon, Bedford Falls Foundation, Bert Smith & Co., Host Hotels & Resorts, Ronald D. Paul Companies, and Sutherland Media Productions. Media sponsors included ESPN980, WashingtonExec, and RCN.

The mission of the National Kidney Foundation is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.