Fundraising team is No. 1 for second consecutive year


The Wheezers, an Augusta-based team in the American Lung Association Asthma (ALA) Walk for the past three years in?Wichita, has done it again.
The team is No. 1 for two years in running.
Wheezers has won the traveling trophy for a second time. Team Captain Caressa Potter  earned an individual recognition for raising the most money for asthma research and education.
This team accounted for nearly $6,000 of this year’s $40,000 effort. The final team tally was $5,876.01, according to Diane Tinker, Central States development director for the ALA. Caressa was recognized for individually raising around $2,000 of the team total.
The focal point of The Wheezers is Caressa’s 33-year-old brother, David Young, who has been a lifelong asthma sufferer.
He was in and out hospitals as a child to treat is asthma condition. His last long hospital stay was about 10 years ago. ?David relies on experience and an inhaler to stay active today.
“She carried the whip and made us work hard this year,” said mother Carol Young of Caressa’s ramrodding effort.
Her husband, Kellen, a teacher, was put in charge of school donations. Father Dick Young  sought corporate donations. She and mother went door to door and put out donation cans. They collected newspapers, magazines and aluminum cans to raise money. Mom and daughter also tie-dyed the team T-shirts.
Andy Gough joined the Wheezers team after last year’s walk and helped the effort with matching money from Axa Advisors LLC.
Wichita Asthma Walk contributions are posted on an  internet homepage. Caressa was constantly checking the totals against the amounts they were collecting. Contributions can continue up to 30 days after the walk before the next fundraising year begins.
Wednesday night, Tinker awarded the American Lung Association 2008 Wichita Asthma Walk Top Fundraising Team Award to the Augusta family team.
 The Wheezers hosted a party for their team at the Potter home.
 The 2008 Walk was co-sponsored by Fidelity Bank on April 26 at Bradley Fair and raised more than $40,000.
Their team name has been engraved on the highly coveted Top Team Travelling Trophy and the team will hold on to the award until the 2009 Wichita Asthma Walk/Run on Saturday May 30, 2009 again  at Bradley Fair.
The team walks and fundraises each year in honor of David, who was diagnosed with severe asthma when he was a child.
The Wichita Asthma Walk is an annual event to help raise much needed funds and awareness for asthma education and research in the Wichita area.
In Butler County alone, there are approximately 1,400 children and 4,000 adults living with asthma. 
The Asthma Walk was created in response to the dramatic increase of individuals being diagnosed with asthma over the past 20 years.  The Asthma Walk is the nationwide signature event of the American Lung Association.
 Beginning our second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined.
 The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is “Improving life, one breath at a time.”
For more information about the American Lung Association and the Asthma Walk, please visit www.breathehealthy.org or call (316) 687-3888.