By Annabeth Reeb
In March 2012, Zack and Jessica Varner gave birth to their son, Beau. Shortly after birth, Beau was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a hereditary disease caused by inheriting two copies of the mutated CF gene. Those living with Cystic Fibrosis must battle constant infections in their lungs, difficulty breathing, and lack of nutrition due to problems in the pancreas.
“At this time my wife, Jessica, and I noticed the community lacked an organization dedicated to increasing CF awareness and helping those with CF in the Brazos Valley,” Zack explained.” Therefore, Beau Means Business Foundation was established.”
Zack thought of the name for the Beau Means Business Foundation while thinking of a team name for The Great Strides event (a walk organized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that raises funds and increases CF awareness).
“When I was brainstorming names of a team that would represent Beau, I kept going back to my childhood and remembering Bo Jackson commercials/posters coining the phrase “Bo Knows,” said Zack. “Since that phrase stuck in my head all these years, I decided to create a similar phrase that people would hopefully remember too, so I came up with ‘Beau Means Business.’ When we established the 501 c3 non profit organization, we decided to use the phrase for the foundation.”
The Varners started the Beau Means Business Foundation with the purpose of educating and inspiring the people in the Bryan-College Station community in addition to raising funds for research and cures for Cystic Fibrosis. In order to do this, the couple came up with the idea of hosting benefit concerts in Downtown Bryan (you may have heard of the Rock Away Cystic Fibrosis event they host in the spring). On October 3rd, the foundation will be hosting the BMBF Dinner Concert Series at the Grand Stafford Theater at 7pm.
“BMBF is unique in that all positions are volunteer, therefore all funds can go directly to accomplishing our mission,” Zack said.
Attendees can rest assured that all of their donations will go directly to helping those suffering from CF. The event will not only contain food and music, but also information about the disease and those affected.
“I want people that attend our events to have a better understanding about the genetic disorder, so they can educate others about Cystic Fibrosis when it comes up in future conversations” Zack said. “Our community does not realize that they might have a close relationship with Cystic Fibrosis and not even know it. 1 in 30 people are carriers for Cystic Fibrosis and this ratio increases to 1 in 25 for the Caucasian population. This means that Bryan-College Station has more 6,500 people that are carriers of the Cystic Fibrosis mutation. The offspring of two carriers have a 25% chance of having Cystic Fibrosis.”
Since BMFB is completely volunteer-run, the Varners give an enormous amount of their time to the foundation, while also balancing their son, foster children, and work. Zack explained to us how the main struggle of running a non-profit is time management.
“The late nights I spend functioning in the role as the director of the foundation is fueled by having a son battling a serious disease every day. Beau never gets a day off from Cystic Fibrosis, so neither do I in my service of bringing more awareness to CF and searching for ways to ensure a cure is found for this awful disease.”
Beau and other children suffering from CF are inspiration for us all to give back to our community and those who need us. Both Zack and Jessica graduated from Texas A&M, and they feel fortunate to have a community of Aggies who are motivated to make a difference for the CF cause.
“We are blessed to live a community where people have embraced our cause and actively want to support BMBF to ensure our events are successful and our mission is accomplished.” Zack said. “During the short duration of BMBF being a nonprofit organization, we have learned no individual can fight CF alone and it is going to take the entire community to come together to prevail over this beatable disease.”
So what can you do? The Beau Means Business Foundation is always looking for people to assist them in their mission—whether it’s volunteering at an event, providing a service, or a monetary donation. They are also looking to grow their Chef CF program, where a chef designs a recipe for a CF diet that can be prepared at home. You can contact them at email@example.com for information or to volunteer.
Upcominh BMBF Events:
Cystic Fibrosis Seminar
Friday, October 2 at 7pm
TAMHSC Clinical Bldg. 1 Room 3541
Dr. Carolyn Cannon, Associate Professor & Researcher at Texas A&M University and Pediatric Pulmonolgist
FREE to attend
BMBF Dinner Concert Series
Saturday, October 3 at 7pm
Dinner at 8pm, live music at 8:30pm
Grand Stafford Theater, Downtown Bryan
Live music by Nick & Paige and Beat Root