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Lung Association Hopes Fundraiser Breathes Life Into Giving

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The economy may be improving, but some nonprofit groups are still laggingbehind.

It is as if the American Lung Association of North Carolina has taken a financial punch to thestomach. So it is no wonder its latest fund raising effort is sobreathtaking.

It is a $2.5 million house in Cary, an open house where visitors makedonations at the door and bid on items.

"The home is 9,900 square feet. There are six full baths and there are fourhalf baths," said Beth Parker, community sales associate. "A portion of that money is donated to the American Lung Association."

The donations could not come at a better time. Times are tough at theAmerican Lung Association of North Carolina, based in Raleigh.

The association has had to cut programs and staff. In fact, it now has half the staff itonce had.

"Daily it means there's a lot more on everyone's plate," said Sarah Cox ofthe American Lung Association.

As donations have dropped, lung disease has increased. Researchers see a connection.

"I'd say that's pretty dire. If we can't have the kinds of resources we needto reduce lung disease as a major cause of death, that's almost as dire asit gets," said Sarah Cox.

The house is in the Birklands Neighborhood off Penny Road in Cary. It isopen for tours though Dec. 7.