MILWAUKEE, May 20, 2010 - The Muscular Dystrophy Association today announced that its 17th Annual Harley-Davidson Black-N-Blue Ball raised over $508,000 in net income to advance MDA's lifesaving mission. Attended by more than 1,200 Milwaukee-area business and community leaders, the May 2010 event surpassed the prior year's Black-N-Blue Ball success by $40,000; and pushed total Black-N-Blue Ball net contributions to MDA beyond $5.7 million.
"On and off the road, Harley-Davidson enthusiasts are true champions for more than a million Americans with neuromuscular diseases," says Gerald C. Weinberg, MDA President and CEO. "In fact, for 30 years, Harley-Davidson has been finding creative ways to help MDA fuel worldwide research seeking treatments and cures for muscle diseases."
Milwaukee's annual Black-N-Blue Ball truly is a transformational event, explains Weinberg. "By celebrating the Harley-Davidson lifestyle, event organizers have successfully shattered the social event norms of black-tie or business attire to achieve extraordinary results. Harley-Davidson keeps revving up participation by encouraging people to wear black leather and blue denim to the fun gala with incredible live and silent auctions to benefit MDA."
This year's Black-N-Blue Ball featured a memorable performance by MDA National Goodwill Ambassador, 11-year old Abbey Umali; an outstanding live auction including two sought-after Harley-Davidson motorcycles (2010 Forty-Eight and 2010 Heritage Softail Classic); a tantalizing silent auction with almost 400 items, including Harley-Davidson collectables and memorabilia.
"By working hard, smart and together, our steering committee keeps finding ways to improve the Black-N-Blue Ball," note Honorary Road Captains Ralph and Mary Kay Bultman.
"We love the fact that so many companies are passionate about sponsoring our fun event and that the Black-N-Blue Ball keeps attracting Harley-Davidson enthusiasts from across America."
Along with Harley-Davidson, Ultra Classic Sponsors for this year's Black-N-Blue Ball included American Airlines, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, DCI Marketing, GS Design, Jason Incorporated, and Miller Compressing Company. Road King Sponsors for the event were the Delphi Foundation, Jostens, SPX Service Solutions, VF Licensed Sport Group and Viva International Group.
Funds from the Black-N-Blue Ball help MDA assist some 600 local families affected by neuromuscular diseases, while also funding notable research to speed treatments and cures for muscle diseases. Milwaukee-area families benefit from specialized MDA clinics at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert Lutheran Memorial Hospital; from MDA support groups plus MDA summer camp, and the Association's durable medical equipment loan program.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association, which is the first nonprofit to be recognized by the American Medical Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award ("for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity"), also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.