Search Virginia Mason News

SEATTLE - (May 14, 2009) — The Virginia Mason Foundation raised more than $1 million at the 18th Annual Dreambuilders' Ball to benefit autoimmune disease research at Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI). Pink Martini entertained the crowd of more than 900 corporate and philanthropic community leaders at the black-tie event, themed "One World, One Dream."

This year's patient speaker was Lauren Muffett, who shared her story of living with four autoimmune diseases and the hope for a cure. The event was co-chaired by Kristi and John Pangrazio, and Laura and Ian MacNeil. Presenting sponsors KING-5 Television and The Benaroya Companies also greatly helped in making the event a success.

The 2009 Dreambuilders' Ball honorees were the Rasmuson family who have supported Virginia Mason Medical Center and BRI since the 1970s. Mary Louise Rasmuson served for many years on the Virginia Mason Foundation Board and the Virginia Mason Board of Governors. The Rasmuson family has established two research funds, the Elmer and Mary Louise Rasmuson Endowed Fellowship and the Rapid Research Fund in Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease Research. This combination of funds supports both emerging and ongoing autoimmune disease research in the field of rheumatology, enabling BRI to stay at the forefront of discovering the causes and cures for debilitating diseases of the joints and muscles. In 1996, the Rasmusons funded VM's Telemedicine Outreach Program connecting expert clinicians in rural Alaska to VM to better serve Alaska-based patients. The Rasmuson Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Alaskans, provided BRI a generous grant to bring Alaskans education about and access to clinical trials.

About Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), founded in 1956, is an international leader in immune system and autoimmune disease research, translating discoveries to real-life applications. Autoimmune disease happens when the immune system, designed to protect the body, attacks it instead. BRI is one of the few research institutes in the world discovering causes and cures to eliminate autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and many others. Visit for more information about BRI, clinical studies and the more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases.

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health-care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area; manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Chronic Care Management program for people living with HIV and AIDS; and operates Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety.

For media inquiries only, contact:
Alisha Mark
(206) 341-1509

Back to Search