Cars & ’Q for the Cause, a Sandy Springs tradition that raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, raised $520,000, beating its fundraising record as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. The company also received an award from the foundation for its work raising over $3.5 million so far.

The fundraiser started in 2009 as a small car show and barbecue in the parking lot of Choate Construction as a way for the local company to try to save the life of a close family friend Leann Rittenbaum Ott, who died in November 2018. But the fundraiser continues in Ott’s honor. The event has grown to more than 1,200 attendees and features over 120 cars, a press release said.

Last year, the event raised $435,433 for the foundation. This year, the company beat its $500,000 goal by $20,000, the release said.

“Thanks to our sponsors, donors and volunteers, we not only hit our goal of $500,000 but blew it away!” said Cars & ‘Q event chair Emily Bridges in the release. “And while the fundraising totals are amazing, the underlying impact is what will occur with these funds – they will go to the research needed to continue to move the needle on controlling, and eventually curing, cystic fibrosis. Thank you to all who are making this possible.”

In April, Choate Construction received the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s (CFF) Spirit of American Award at the National Volunteer Leadership Conference in San Diego, California, according to the release. Other companies given the award for the work with the foundation include FedEx, Kroger and Toshiba, the release said.

Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. People with the disease have an average life expectancy of approximately 40 years old.  Affecting only 30,000 people in the U.S., research for treatment is primarily funded by the CF Foundation through private donors, such as Choate Construction, the release said.

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