The Brentwood team captains are Maureen Linder, representing the BREW (Brentwood Runners - Everyone Welcome) Cruisers, and City of Brentwood engineer Jeff Cowling, who formed the original Brentwood team and has been instrumental in helping establish the BREW Cruisers. Linder's mother needs a kidney and is undergoing dialysis three times each week. She is also on a kidney transplant list.
Over 90,000 people in the United States are in need of an essential organ, including over 19,000 Californians. As many as 6,000 die annually because not enough organs are available.
BREW Cruisers member Alison Boudreau said her team is trying to change those disturbing statistics. "Our goal is to celebrate life, generate funds and increase awareness that organ donation saves lives," she said.
The relay event is staged each year and is dedicated to someone who has been intimately involved in the organ donation process, normally a recipient or someone on an organ waiting list. This year's relay is dedicated to four people, including a 3-year-old San Jose girl who received a heart and two lungs last September. While most organs become available due to the premature death of a donor, organizations such as Organs 'R' Us prefer to emphasize the life-saving value of donation and celebrate the gift of extended life for fortunate organ recipients.
This year for the first time, a Dine, Dance & Donate fundraiser will be held in Brentwood to benefit Organs 'R' Us, a San Francisco nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to support transplant recipients, applicants, their families, donors and others. The organization supports organ donation by organizing and conducting athletic events. Dr. Jeff Shapiro, the force behind Organs 'R' Us, welcomed this year's sponsor. "EAS' full line of training and recovery products will enhance the peak performance of organs which may be donated to save a life," said Shapiro. EAS is a sports nutrition brand located in Golden, Colorado.
When Boudreau contacted Shapiro to propose the Brentwood fundraiser party, he asked, "Are you an angel who fell from the sky? I've been wanting to have a huge annual party for years." Pat Rodda, who is helping put the fundraiser together, said organizing the event is a real challenge. "We're doing in a couple of months what it would normally take a year to accomplish." Sharon Robinson of Dreams Are A Wish Your Heart Makes is also helping the BREW team in its efforts.
The party will be quite an event, according to Boudreau. Planned for Mother's Day, May 12, the event will include activities at both the Deer Ridge and Shadow Lakes Golf Clubs. A putting contest, wine tasting, dinner and silent auction will be followed by champagne, Bubble Lounge dancing and live music. Tickets are $75 per person or $550 for a table of eight. Tickets can be obtained through Dreams at 989-7241, at Brentwood UPS, 2420 Sand Creek Road, or by visiting the events special Web site, www.dinedancedonate.eventbrite.com. Addi-tional information about becoming a runner, walker, volunteer or organ donor, can be found at www.therelay.com and www.donatelifecalifornia.org.