Fundraiser Nets More Than $150,000 for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Research

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The fight against spinal muscular atrophy just received an infusion of money, thanks to participants in a recent fundraiser held by Fight SMA (http://www.fightsma.org).

The fight against spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is expensive but, thanks to the generosity of those in attendance at this year's edition of Fight SMA's (http://www.fightsma.org) signature fundraiser, there is now a fresh infusion of money into the cause.

Fight SMA President Martha Slay announced this week that the fifth annual SMAsquerade auction fundraiser, which raises money for spinal muscular atrophy research, netted a total of more than $150,000. The auction's presenting sponsor was SunTrust, and the live auction sponsor was Dominion.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic killer of children under two. The neuromuscular disease causes a wasting of the muscles, robbing its victims of the ability to run, walk, crawl, play and, in many cases, even breathe or swallow.

"We'd like to extend a big 'thank you' to the donors, sponsors, and volunteers who made this fundraising total possible," said Slay. "A large part of our financial support comes from this event, and without it our fight against this child-killing disease might not be possible."

The items auctioned this year all fit the theme "Make Tracks." Event organizers encouraged those in attendance at the event to make their mark by helping to cure SMA, and the attendees responded. The winning bids on several items reached near record levels. The highest bids came on these three items:

*Whale Tracking (Winning Bid: $12,000) - An eight-day whale-watching adventure in the Gulf of California, accompanied by National Geographic Senior Editor Don Belt and National Geographic Photographer Annie Belt.

*Two Days at the Track (Winning Bid: $10,000) - Corporate box seats plus accommodations for the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby, as well as Kentucky Oaks, which is run the day before.

*Tracking Flight (Winning Bid: $6,000) - A three-day hunt for four in St. Charles, Arkansas with Duck Hunt Guides, Inc., including lodging, hunts, meals and licenses.

To help Fight SMA reach its goal of finding a treatment or cure for spinal muscular atrophy, please visit http://www.fightsma.org and click on "donate."

About Fight SMA
Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Fight SMA (also known as Andrew's Buddies) is an international nonprofit group dedicated to accelerating research for a treatment or a cure for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neuromuscular disorder that kills more babies than any other genetic disease. For more information on spinal muscular atrophy and Fight SMA, please visit http://www.fightsma.org. The latest SMA news and research information is available at the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Blog, at http://www.fightsma/blog.

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