August 11, 2008

Contact: Michele Anthony or Nicole Hawkins
(202) 244-7900, ext. 29 or 35

The 1st Annual Roger Mason Jr. Ball for a Cause Raises $45,000 for the NKF Serving the National Capital Area

WASHINGTON, DC – The 1st Annual Roger Mason Jr. Ball for a Cause benefiting the NKF Serving the National Capital Area (NKF/NKA) on July 29 at Lucky Strike in Washington, DC attracted more than 300 people and raised $45,000 for the organization. The inaugural event introduced many new supporters to the National Kidney Foundation and its work.

Ball for a Cause guests had the chance to bowl and mingle with current and former athletes including Washington DC native Roger Mason Jr. of the San Antonio Spurs, Etan Thomas and Andray Blatche of the Washington Wizards, former Washington Redskin LaVar Arrington, former NBA star and University of Maryland standout Tony Massenburg, and DC United players Ben Olsen, Marc Burch, and Domenic Mediate. The athletes joined young kidney patients in the fight against kidney disease in the Washington, DC region.

Major supporters of Ball for a Cause include Roger Mason Jr. who made a $15,000 donation, the Washington Wizards, the San Antonio Spurs, Best Buy, UBC, Maureen Gleason Bryant, James Ryan Films, and Team Up World. Best Buy hosted a Wii Lounge, which was popular with young and old alike. WDCW provided transportation for the VIPs on the CW bus, which boasts luxury seating for 30.

Kidney disease is something that hits home for Mason. When Roger was 11, his father Roger Mason Sr. passed away from kidney failure. According to Mason, "It has been a dream of mine to be a part of such a wonderful organization that shares my vision. The National Kidney Foundation has helped many people live a healthier and happy life. I am proud that the event was a success and I look forward to years of supporting the cause."

The Washington, DC area has the highest prevalence of kidney disease in the nation but the National Kidney Foundation is working hard in the community to combat that. Funds from this event will be used to support vital research, patient services, public and physician education, and organ donation programs. Proceeds will also support NKF/NCA’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a comprehensive screening and education program targeted at at-risk individuals.

Preston A. Englert, Jr., President & CEO of the NKF Serving the National Capital Area said, “We were thrilled to partner with Roger on this unique fundraiser. His knowledge of the problem in the Washington, DC has helped to raise awareness about kidney disease and its leading causes—diabetes and high blood pressure—and get those most at risk vital information to improve their health.”

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.