At ShoreBread, we are continually amazed at the generosity and never-ending spirit of our local community. When a member of the community is in need, be it a child, adult, local business, or even a pet, our local community bands together to raise money and support without a second thought. It truly is one of our favorite parts about Delmarva living. Of course, the downside to a fundraiser or philanthropic undertaking is that it all stems from the sobering fact that someone is suffering. It’s not just about raising money,  although that is a much needed outcome in most cases, but it’s also about the impact that an outpouring of community support can have for those in need. This week, we’re calling attention to two upcoming fundraisers, both of which aim to help a little boy and his family fight the battle against cystic fibrosis with an arsenal of strength and community support.

Team Bentley Bean invites you to join them this week and next month to raise funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Bentley Gilberthorp is a local three-year-old boy who has been battling cystic fibrosis, a life threatening, incurable disease, since he was just a few months old. With Cystic Fibrosis Month just around the corner (the month of May), friends and family are raising money for Team Bentley Bean and the upcoming Great Strides Walk in Salisbury. First up is an Ice Cream Social to be held at Rayne’s Reef in Berlin this Sunday from 1pm until 3pm. Friends of the family Kasi Queen and Jennifer Armour are organizing the Ice Cream Social, hoping to raise money for The Great Strides Walk on May 22. “The Ice Cream Social is at Rayne’s Reef on Sunday, April 17th from 1-3pm,” explained Queen this week. “Michael Queen (Rayne’s Reef owner) is super awesome for giving us the keys…and the ice cream!” Rayne’s Reef is typically closed on Sundays, but will open up their doors (and their ice cream freezer) for the event, which will be $5 per person. “All of the money will go to ‘Team Bentley Bean’ and The Great Strides Walk,” added Queen, who will also be participating in the walk next month.

The Great Strides Walk will take place on May 22 at Pemberton Park in Salisbury. Participants can form teams (like Team Bentley Bean) through work, clubs, organizations, or friends and family. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, “walk day is a fun, family-oriented event with a healthy 5k walk, children’s activities, food, and festivities that participants look forward to year after year.” This year’s walk goal is $60,000, all of which will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was started in 1955 by a group of parents seeking to advance the understanding of the little-known disease, to create new treatments and specialized care for their children, and to find a cure. That same mission continues today through key research programs. “Bentley was diagnosed at a few months old,” said Queen. “After his diagnosis, he spent many weeks at Hopkins fighting for his life until they could get his CF under control. A tip to help others understand what it’s like living with CF: try to breathe through a straw, in and out, and that’s what CF fighters do daily to breath.”

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits your ability to breathe. A defective gene causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs and other organs, resulting in a variety of symptoms from shortness of breath, to poor growth, to frequent lung infections. Currently there is no cure for the disease. About 30,000 people in the U.S. are currently living with cystic fibrosis.

Interested in learning more about cystic fibrosis? For starters, you can attend the Ice Cream Social at Rayne’s Reef on Sunday – informational cards will be available for guests to take with them. You can also visit the Cystic Fibrosis website by clicking here. Want to join or contribute to Team Bentley Bean? Simply click here.