The Boomer Esiason Foundation today announced a new logo for its quickly growing “Team Boomer – Fighting Cystic Fibrosis” athletic and fundraising program.

Team Boomer was founded in 2006 to: encourage people with cystic fibrosis to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives; provide an avenue for individual athletes in a variety of sports to raise money for cystic fibrosis; and offer assistance to grassroots athletic events looking for a cause to support.

Since then, more than 10,000 athletes have competed on behalf of Team Boomer, including 115 who ran earlier this month in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.  By the end of this year, Team Boomer will have raised $3.5 million in support of efforts to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, a scholarship program specifically designed for scholar-athletes with CF, and other programs directly benefiting the CF community.

 “We are very pleased by the incredible success of the Team Boomer program and the significant support it is providing to the cystic fibrosis community,” Boomer Esiason said. “We felt it was time to give Team Boomer a logo more in line with its mission and achievements,” Esiason continued. “The new logo reflects everything Team Boomer is – strong, dynamic, forward-thinking … even gritty.”

The new logo was designed by Kay W., a 49-year-old graphic designer with cystic fibrosis. Kay said that in approaching the project, she first selected a font that is “bold, athletic and powerful.” Deciding which design elements to use was trickier, she said. She finally drew inspiration from a quote she saw posted on Facebook by Team Boomer founder and BEF volunteer Jerry Cahill: “It’s about the journey, about sportsmanship, about friendships made along the way.” Kay said those words led her to think of using a path as a symbol. “For Team Boomer, the path of preparation for a race is more important than just training for and running the race, because you’re doing it for a larger purpose,” she said. “You’re fundraising, advocating, educating – it’s a big, wide path.”

Even in Team Boomer’s infancy, the Foundation had big plans for the program. “We knew it was a concept that could grow beyond our immediate reach in the New York City area,” Esiason said. “Our goal from the beginning was to expand the program nationally, and even internationally.”

Team Boomer is living up to those high expectations. For the most recent New York City marathon, Team Boomer runners will come from 20 states as well as the United Kingdom. Team Boomer is gaining footholds in other high-level races as well; it recently accepted invitations to be an official charity partner of the Chicago Marathon and the New York City triathlon. Internationally, Team Boomer athletes will participate in marathons in London and Dublin, among others.

To reach out to a totally different audience, the Foundation in July partnered with the New York Road Runners for Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breathe, a 10K in Central Park that was open to the public and drew thousands of runners. Plans are under way to hold similar events at locations throughout the United States.

In addition to selling out races and helping its athletes raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, Team Boomer also focuses its energies on one of its primary missions: encouraging people with cystic fibrosis to use exercise as a tool to battle the disease. “We know that regular exercise is one of the keys to extending the life of a person with CF,” Esiason said. “Our Foundation is working every day to spread that message and to provide the education and support the CF community needs to make it happen.”

One of the most rewarding benefits of the Team Boomer program, Esiason noted, is how it is providing opportunities for the CF community to come together for a common cause.

“The Run to Breathe was a tremendous day for me,” Esiason said. “I was out there running with my family, and we were surrounded by thousands of people – many of whom have CF themselves – who were there because they wanted to help the CF community fight this disease. It was such an incredibly emotional and uplifting experience,” he continued. “It showed, in a nutshell, what Team Boomer is all about.”

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