Bruce and Meryl Raiffe, of Warren, New Jersey are both successful business people – Bruce is CEO of Gund Inc., one of the oldest and largest leading soft toy manufacturers in the U.S.; and Meryl is President of Allbook Inc., which provides the finest quality books, educational materials and merchandise to school book fairs in the northeast U.S.
When the couple first learned of scleroderma five years ago, they sought the very best for guidance.
“When an illness like scleroderma impacts a family, one can only hope to have a medical professional like Jim Seibold working on treatments and cures,” says Bruce Raiffe. “Meeting Dr. Seibold over five years ago was one of the most important days in our lives. Having an accurate diagnosis was our first step towards understanding this illness. Working with Dr. Seibold as a dedicated champion of scleroderma research has led to encouragement and a real sense of progress.”
The Raiffes were strong supporters of Dr. Seibold’s research program in New Jersey and have continued their active involvement since Dr. Seibold’s move to the University of Michigan. As leaders of various New Jersey based fundraising activities, their hard work has generated nearly $1,000,000 in research support.
“Dr. Seibold’s dedication to scleroderma research and the care of his patients is unmatched by others in his field,” says Meryl Raiffe. “We feel so fortunate to have his talent and that of his supportive team at the University of Michigan Scleroderma Program to further this research. It is our hope that this work will soon result in effective treatments and ultimately a cure or prevention of scleroderma in all patients.”
In 2005, the Raiffes hosted a record-breaking golf outing featuring 18 different cars to be won by participants at the exclusive Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, New Jersey. This successful fundraiser was repeated in 2006 with more than $1,000,000 brand new cars, including a Bentley and Rolls Royce, offered as hole-in-one prizes. These two events raised over $500,000 for scleroderma research at the University of Michigan.
“The strong and durable support of passionate and savvy people like Bruce and Meryl Raiffe both facilitates our research and drives us to work harder,” noted Dr. Seibold.
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