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Grace’s Courage Crusade

Grace’s Courage Crusade is a passionate mission of the Sidoti/Caldarone family to support those living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, which affects Marybeth Caldarone and her daughter Grace.  Our mission includes both funding cure-driven research and raising awareness of CMT worldwide. We achieve these goals through several pathways.  First, we come together each fall at our annual fundraiser in scenic Newport, Rhode Island. Second, we elevate the public profile of CMT through our children’s book series, written by Carol Liu and Marybeth Caldarone. The series, beginning with Arlene On the Scene and now featuring a sequel, Arlene, the Rebel Queen, educates children, parents and educators about CMT through a lively and humorous story, while providing a positive role model for those growing up with CMT. Finally, through our School Outreach Program, we bring an important message about the value of embracing differences to elementary schools across the country.


Grace’s Courage Crusade Brunch by the Beach 2014

Grace’s Courage Crusade, a passionate campaign of the Sidoti/Caldarone family to raise awareness and fund CMT research, held its annual “Brunch by the Beach” fundraiser in scenic Newport, RI on November 2, 2014. Now in its seventh year, this event has become a beloved tradition for the crowd of over 150 attendees, and participants enjoyed great food, fun games, exciting raffles, and of course, fantastic desserts. (Who says brunch doesn’t come with dessert?!) This year was the most amazing ever, with over $15,000 raised for the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation’s TRIAD research program. Sean Ekins, HNF’s Chief Science Officer, presented a CMT research update during the event, outlining the exciting developments in CMT research, including the upcoming Stage III clinical trial for CMT1A, ongoing CMT2A research using a zebrafish model, and progress on the development of a CMT2A mouse model. (See past HNF newsletters for all the latest research developments and sign up to receive these important newsletters in the future.) We at HNF, and the Sidoti and Caldarone families, would like to thank all of the generous supporters who have joined with Grace’s Courage Crusade and HNF to make a real difference for kids like Grace who live with the challenges of CMT every...

Sunday, November 2, 2014: Grace’s Courage Crusade Brunch

We’ve set the date, now we need you to do the same!  Don’t miss this fantastic event!  The atmosphere of scenic Newport, RI, the fabulous food, and the desserts!  You have to experience it to understand why folks keep coming back, why our group is growing! This year our Chief Science Officer, Sean Ekins, will attend the event and provide an update on the exciting research HNF has funded, thanks to the generosity of Grace’s Courage Crusade! We look forward to sharing the latest CMT research news with all of you! November 2, 2014, from 11 am to 3 pm (brunch served 12 – 2) Atlantic Beach Club, 55 Purgatory Road, Middletown, RI 02842 Adults: $45, Children $20 Click here to register! Questions email [email protected]..

Grace’s Courage Crusade Brunch 2013

A bright, crisp day greeted supporters of Grace’s Courage Crusade as they gathered to enjoy brunch by the beach with breathtaking views at the Atlantic Beach Club in Newport, RI. Following the amazing buffet spread, the crowd got intense over a dessert auction that offered tempting sweets and goodies provided by local businesses.

Grace’s Courage Crusade Brunch 2012

Warm temperatures and brilliant sunshine welcomed several hundred guests attending Grace’s Courage Crusade this year.  Held on October 21, 2012 at the Atlantic Beach Club in Newport, Rhode Island overlooking the water, supporters gathered for brunch and fun.  Grace’s Courage Crusade is the undertaking of the Sidoti/Caldarone family whose objective is to raise funds for research into Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) Type 2.  CMT Type 2 affects Marybeth Caldarone and her daughter Grace.   Grace’s Courage Crusade is such a heartfelt event that some traveled from as far as New York and Maryland to attend. Following the main buffet was a raffle of over 40 items including a handmade baby quilt, jewelry, water color paintings, seasonal baskets, gift card baskets, an IPad and a 42” flat screen TV.  Grace enjoyed the honor of drawing the winning raffle tickets which were announced by friend and event coordinator, Tonia Hassell.  Once again, Tonia worked tirelessly, along with Marybeth Caldarone to make this event successful. After the raffle it was time for the most anticipated event: the Dessert Auction.  Two tables were brimming with a large assortment of sweets.  Some were from local restaurants and bakeries while others were homemade.  Whether lemon layer cake, bars, angry bird cupcakes or chocolate cake with strawberries, everything looked delicious. It must have all tasted delicious as well–there wasn’t a crumb left after the auction! Thanks to everyone who participated, Grace’s Courage Crusade raised nearly$ 10,000! Thank you to everyone for your generous support! Video highlights!...

Grace’s Courage Crusade Brunch 2011

This annual event is simply amazing.  At the last one, held in October 2011, a crowd of several hundred gathered ocean-side at the picturesque Atlantic Beach Club to support Grace’s Courage Crusade, a passionate mission of the Sidoti/Caldarone family to fund research for CMT Type 2, which affects Marybeth Caldarone and her daughter Grace.  One of the premiere efforts of the Caldarones is the writing and publishing of Arlene On the Scene, a children’s chapter book which is spreading like wildfire across the country, building crucial awareness of Charcot-Marie-Tooth and how it can affect children and families. At last count, we were close to $10,000 raised!  We want to thank everyone who attended and those who worked so hard to make this event so successful, especially the leaders behind this event, Marybeth Caldarone and Tonia Hassell.  HNF is thrilled to co-host such an incredible gathering of partners in the mission to one day find a cure for Charcot-Marie-Tooth.  These incredible efforts will result in a real difference for Grace and the thousands of children like her who live with CMT.  We are honored to be working with such an amazing group of people, and we look forward to making a real difference with you! Be sure to check out all pictures and video from this wonderful day!   The array of raffle prizes was astounding, and folks kept their fingers crossed as tickets were drawn by Marybeth’s daughter Grace.         The Dessert Auction, which has now become a GCC tradition, was again a huge hit, with groups of guests bidding on cakes and pies that topped...
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