The Respiralia Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary last night with a brief review of its history, presenting the 2016 Cystic Fibrosis Volunteer Award to Xavier Pons, and a special prize for its Managing Director Carlos Pons, in recognition of his work since Respiralia’s inception 10 years ago.
About 200 people gathered at the Auditorium of the College Ágora Portals, including the General Director of Accreditation, Teaching and Research Marga Frontera, representing the President of the Balearic Government, former President of the Balearic Government and Senator Jose Ramon Bauza and current Councillor for Health and Consumption of Palma City Council, Antonia Martin, plus many supporters, business people, representatives of charities, well wishers and relatives of the children and young people with Cystic Fibrosis whom Respiralia supports.
Kicking off the event, Carlos Pons told the history of the Foundation with vivid anecdotes, showing slides of important moments with a special emphasis on those who have made possible the growth of the foundation. Carlos made a particular point of thanking many of the expat community who have supported Respiralia over the years, in particular Robert Winsor, Andrew Spence, Malcolm Andrews, James Newton, Margaret and Tony Whittaker and the team at Mood Beach. It was an impressive story of growth and determination and Carlos told the audience about the many different ways they raised money in order to build and equip a specialist unit to support people with cystic fibrosis and how they have been successful in using ground breaking physiotherapy techniques to improve the lives and life expectancy of these young people.
The President of Respiralia, Teresa Llull spoke of how hard she had to work to achieve her dreams of being able to support young people and children in the Balearics with CF and she thanked the various public administrations and the Balearic community who had made its success possible. Former President of the Balearic Government José Ramón Bauzá encouraged employers to continue working with the various non-profit organizations on the island and especially with the Respiralia Foundation. Finally, the representative of the President of the Balearic Government, Marga Frontera, spoke of the continuous efforts of the Foundation in the fight against cystic fibrosis which is a serious and incurable disease and stressed the importance of continuing to research.
The event also saw the presentation of the CF Balearic Award 2016 to Xavier Pons, a long standing volunteer for the foundation who was praised for his generosity and willingness to help those who need it most. The families and workers from the Respiralia Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Balearic Association made an emotional thank you speech and presented a plaque to Carlos Pons in recognition of his work. The event ended with a performance by the Gospel group “Euphonix” and a meal prepared by the families of the Foundation and served by volunteer students of the Hotel School of the Balearic Islands.
You can find out more about the work of Respiralia at www.respiralia.org