Laura Bonnell's Night of Hope to defeat cystic fibrosis is Sept. 25

A local family has made it their mission to help those living with cystic fibrosis and this year -- their annual fundraiser will return to in-person for their "Night of Hope."

Laura Bonnell is the founder of the Bonnell Foundation established 11 years ago to help families living with cystic fibrosis - a deadly genetic condition that impacts the lungs and other organs.

Laura and her husband, Joe, have two daughters living with CF - they know the challenges firsthand, which is why their night of hope celebration on Sept. 25th - is so important.

All the money raised from this goes to financial assistance that insurance doesn't cover- lung transplant grants and college scholarships for students in Michigan and across the country that have cystic fibrosis.

Over the years they have given away $500,000 helping thousands of people.

"We just got an applicant who needed $1,500 in medical assistance for their dental care so we're excited to be paying that out," she said.

But it doesn't happen without fundraising. Last year's Night of Hope gala had to be virtual because of Covid. This year we're shooting another virtual event - but they'll also be gathering in person as well at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.

Come Sept. 25th that room will be filled with amazing silent auction items but you don't have to wait until then - you can get a sneak peek starting Sept. 1 at the Bonnell Foundation website.

"We have a donation from Shinola - a beautiful leather purse and we have miner's den donated freshwater pearls and earrings with diamonds," she said.

The in-person event will also feature a live auction - and a chance to get together - masked and socially distanced, of course.

"If we can get through this event and meet our goal of $91,000 which is what we did virtually last year, then we can say we financially made it through the pandemic for our foundation," Bonnell said.

Laura Bonnell

Laura Bonnell

A good time for a great cause - complete with special appearances from Laura's daughters - 26-year-old Molly and 24-year-old Emily - the inspiration for the foundation - as they all continue to fight for a cure for cystic fibrosis.

"It is a wonderful time if you have CF- because there is so much hope right now," she said.

Go to to purchase tickets for the in-person or virtual Night of Hope.