Tuesday night at the American University at the Greenberg Theater, a private event with DC native and former Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren was held to benefit the Boomer Esiason Foundation to fight Cystic Fibrosis. It was sponsored by Bridgewater Financial Management.
Boomer’s son, Gunnar, has cystic fibrosis. He was diagnosed when he was 2 years old in 1993. Ever since Gunnar’s diagnosis it has required him to have 2 hours of therapy along with drugs that are very expensive to keep Gunnar healthy and alive. Gunnar is now in college. Boomer’s goal is to have his child outlive him. In the past Cystic Fibrosis patients only live until their late teens and 20s. Now they are getting up into their late 30 to late 40s which has an onset of new problems as people never used to live that long.
Cystic Fibrosis is incurable. It is a gene that must be carried by both parents who pass it on to their child. It causes mucus to build up in the lungs which causes breathing to be difficult and traps germs which infect the lungs and elsewhere. Cystic Fibrosis also makes it harder and harder for the carrier to digest nutrients so the carrier tend to be very thin. Miraculously Gunnar did play high school football and his dream of scoring a touchdown came true when he threw a pass that was caught in the end zone.
Since the forming of the Boomer Esiason Foundation in 1993, upon Gunnar’s Cystic Fibrosis diagnosis, $85 million has been raised. The night with Nils Lofrgren raised $33,000 via silent auction. Silent auction items were box seats to a Capitals’ game, signed Capitals jersey, signed Nils Lofgren guitar (very popular), signed Bulls jersey, luxurious hotel package, iPad, wine baskets, etc.
I got to go backstage and talk with Nils and his friend CEO of Bridgewater Ron Rubin. I asked Nils if he thought Steve Jobs ruined the music industry. “That’s a complicated question. I wouldn’t say so. I refused to buy an iphone, but I eventually did. Technology makes things so much easier. In the past if I wanted some of my music I had to request a cassette to have it sent to me and then convert it to a cd and it would take like 8 days. Now all I have to do is go on line and buy it instantly through itunes.” Mr. Rubin shared how he is good friends with Boomer and once you’re friends with Boomer you are friends for life. Mr. Rubin was very happy to support his friend Boomer and his family. In fact he was at a golf tournament with Boomer the day before in New York to raise money for the Boomer Esaison Foundation.
Special guest appearance was by former Miss Sweden, former wife of French tennis great Yannick Noah and mother to Chicago Bulls’ basketball player Joakim Noah, Ceilia Rodhe. I really enjoyed talking with her. She is very down to earth and kind. She works as sculptor in NYC and just started a charity called Noah’s Arc Foundation to help children with self-esteem through sculpting.
Nils Lofgren played a beautiful set after the announcing the winners of the silent auction and watching a short clip about Gunnar Esiason and the Boomer Esiason Foundation. Lofgren was set to play Thursday night at the Strathmore with his four brothers in attendance.
This was a wonderful event that was very educational and fun. Congrats to the Boomer Esiason Foundation on its success.