GSF Voted Top 100 Charity, Receives $25,000 Grant From Chase And Chance At $1 Million

Online PR News – 17-December-2009 –Santa Barbara, CA – The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF), a nonprofit organization striving to raise awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the #1 genetic killer of young children, and accelerate cure focused research, was voted by Facebook users from more than 500,000 charities as one of the top 100 organizations in round one of the $5 Million Chase Community Giving campaign. For their selection, GSF was awarded a $25,000 grant from Chase and will advance to round two for a chance to win up to $1 Million. 
"We are absolutely thrilled about being voted as one of the top 100 charities out of more than 500,000 organizations in the Chase Community Giving campaign,” said Victoria Strong, GSF co-founder. “This is incredible and another humbling example of how this vibrant SMA community and every person that this horrible disease touches can collectively accomplish anything we put our minds to as one, united, motivated voice.” 
SMA is a terminal, degenerative disease that impacts the voluntary muscles in infants and children including the ability to walk, sit, stand, eat, breathe, and even swallow. Ninety percent of children born with SMA die before the age of two. Although SMA is not a household name, the gene responsible for SMA is unknowingly carried by 1 in 40 people or nearly eight Million Americans. There is currently no treatment or cure, but SMA research is extremely mature and researchers have stressed that one is attainable in the next five years if provided the appropriate resources. GSF is focused on helping the SMA community make sure those resources are not an obstacle to finding that cure. 
To further its mission, GSF is giving one-hundred-percent of the $25,000 grant from the first round to a promising SMA research program at the University of California, Irvine led by Dr. Hans Keirstead. In addition, GSF will be giving one-hundred-percent of anything it receives from round two to SMA awareness and research programs and has pledged that it will organize an online voting campaign to enable its supporters to decide how the proceeds are distributed. 
“Reaching the top 100 would have never been possible without the passionate efforts of the entire SMA community – their families, friends, and neighbors,” said Ms. Strong. “We have a real chance to win $1 Million in round two and we can’t think of a better way to direct the dollars received than to let those who helped us get there decide – it’s our money to lose, it’s our money to win, let’s go get it and make sure it makes a difference in programs we all believe in!” 
Round two voting in the Chase Community Giving campaign begins on January 15, 2010. Check the GSF website over the next few weeks for information on how you can help them win the $1 Million.
To learn more about SMA and GSF, please visit
To read the Chase and Facebook press release about round one results, please visit 
To learn more about the Chase Community Giving campaign, please visit 
About Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF) – GSF is based in Santa Barbara, California and seeks to raise awareness of and fund cure focused research for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic killer of young children, and support those impacted by SMA and other life-altering diseases. To learn more about SMA and GSF, please visit

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