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Lung Association Honors Volunteers during National Volunteer Week

(April 12, 2016) - Louisville, KY

The American Lung Association was built on America's spirit of community that inspires us to work together for better health and longer life for all. In honor of National Volunteer Week, the American Lung Association in Kentucky recognizes volunteers who share the vision of a world free of lung disease, including local volunteer Debbie Burdorf.

"Breathing is essential to life. Every day, and from our first breath to our last, lung health and healthy air is critical," said Beckie Galvin, Director of Volunteer Services for the American Lung Association in Kentucky. "We all have this in common, and it's what rallies the strength of our volunteer grassroots network."

A variety of volunteers fuel the Lung Association's work, from the Board of Directors and regional and state leadership to LUNG FORCE Heroes, Freedom From Smoking and Better Breathers Club group facilitators and event volunteers. This includes local volunteers like Debbie Burdorf.

Debbie Burdorf has been a true Ambassador for the American Lung Association in Kentucky. Since Louisville's first Fight for Air Climb in 2014, Debbie has served on the Climb planning team, speaking to community groups, recruiting new climbers and participating in media interviews for the climb. Debbie also organized Team Semonin, one of Louisville's largest and most successful fundraising teams.

Debbie also serves as Co-Director of "A Breath of Fresh Air", the civic advocacy group producing the October Big Screen Bash for American Lung Association in Kentucky. Debbie's enthusiasm and support is integral in this unique and exciting October affair that attracts corporate, medical, civic and media leaders throughout the community.

As a community connector, Debbie is always on the lookout for new opportunities to get individuals and corporate groups involved. She has secured corporate sponsorships for the Breath of Fresh Air, benefit donations for our live auction, and countless new volunteers for the Breath of Fresh Air group.

"I have gained more than I have given to the American Lung Association in Kentucky," Debbie says. "I believe a healthy body and mind work well together and I can see myself being involved with the Climb and American Lung Association for years to come!"

"We greatly value Debbie Burdorf, who truly embraces our mission and works passionately at every opportunity," said Galvin. "It's dedicated volunteers like Debbie that help us both connect with and support those who suffer from lung disease in our communities."

As the oldest American voluntary health organization, the American Lung Association has a long history of partnering with philanthropic citizens. The Lung Association was founded in 1904 in response to the threat of tuberculosis (TB), the leading cause of death at that time. With the belief that a national association should be something more than a medical society and driven by the idea that all individuals could do something about tuberculosis, the Lung Association was the first to combine the energies of physicians and laypersons in the fight against death and disease.

Now, with TB largely controlled in the U.S., the American Lung Association continues to partner with volunteers nationwide to improve lung health and prevent lung disease for all Americans. This includes 32 million Americans and 655,000 Kentucky residents who have lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

"Whether you or someone you love has lung disease, we can all benefit from improving lung health and preventing lung disease, and building a diverse, active and engaged pool of volunteers is integral to the success of this shared goal," Galvin said.

The American Lung Association needs reliable volunteers to help us create a healthier world, free of lung disease. Opportunities are available for a variety of interests and skills, learn more at

For media interested in learning more about our volunteers or speaking with an expert about lung health, contact the American Lung Association in Kentucky at [email protected] or 1-800-LUNGUSA.

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