I hope this message finds you well this Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for your support, which has allowed the Celiac Disease Foundation to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our celiac community. My family’s first fundraising experience was participating in a 5K Fun Run representing Team Gluten-Free in 2010. About 20 CDF supporters, wearing neon green shirts, met to promote celiac disease awareness.
Ten years later, and in the middle of a pandemic, 2,500 supporters from 48 states and 7 countries came together virtually at the 2020 CDF Turkey Trot Virtual Cross-Country Challenge For A Cure to raise an astounding $200,000 for celiac disease research. Managing the logistics behind organizing an event of this scale, which included an app that tracked your steps to move you from New York, the original home of the Turkey Trot, to the CDF headquarters in Los Angeles, unlocking gluten-free gifts along the way, was an incredible feat. Laura Boone and Craig Pinto, our talented development officers living with celiac disease, made it look easy. Our reward has been the many emails, social media posts, and calls from participants sharing how connected and grateful they continue to feel having been part of this life-affirming event.
In addition to thanking Laura, Craig, and the CDF Board of Directors and staff who helped make this happen, I want to thank each of our 2020 CDF Turkey Trot sponsors for their generous support: Schär, Crunchmaster, Enjoy Life Foods, EpiLynx, Mikey’s, BFree Foods, Jones Dairy Farm, Nairn’s, Tiger Corporation, King Arthur Baking Company, Fody Foods, UBS, Rue Insurance, Immundiagnostik, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Josie’s Best Gluten-Free, Celiac and the Beast, Goodie Girl, Kinnikinnick, Gem City Fine Foods, Steiner’s Coffee Cake of New York, CAULIPOWER, Jiaren Yoga, Senza Gluten Café & Bakery, Balls Vodka, & First 5 LA.
But most of all, I want to thank the thousands of you who participated in our event across the country. Many of our Turkey Trotters have celiac disease or love someone who does. They know, therefore, how important it is that we fund research, advocacy, and education to drive improved diagnostics, FDA-approved treatments, and a cure.
The money we raise from the 2020 CDF Turkey Trot will go towards those critical initiatives. And if you didn’t participate in the Turkey Trot but still want to help, you can donate to the event, or an individual’s or team’s effort here through November 30. For other ways to give, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to our 2020 Gift of Hope Challenge or visit our Team Gluten-Free website to look for fun ideas to engage your family and friends in our efforts to find a cure.
On behalf of the CDF Board of Directors and staff, I thank you for allowing us to champion the celiac disease community.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving,
Marilyn G. Geller