Westlake Magazine

Cystic Fibrosis doesn't have a Labor Day telethon. This genetic disease that afflicts approximately 30,000 people in the United States doesn't have a holiday seal, a postage stamp, a movie of the week, or a brightly colored ribbon. But Cystic Fibrosis, the number-one genetic killer of children and young adults in this country, now has its very own Country Hit CD. Thanks to the dedication and passion of Sheri Mount and the artists and professionals of Country music.

"One Heart At A Time", a song written by Grammy-award winning songwriter Victoria Shaw (who wrote Garth Brooks' "The River") exclusively for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, is now playing on Country Music Televisions' cable network CMT. All proceeds from the sale of the CD go directly to the Foundation.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a disease that causes the body to produce a thick, sticky mucus which clogs the lungs. This leads to chronic lung infections, fatal lung damage and also interferes with digestion. Although the life span has increased, CF is always fatal.

While many people who become personally involved with a cause usually do so because they have a family member or know a friend who is afflicted, Sheri had no such connection. Eight years ago, she learned of the disease when she was introduced to a little boy who was stricken with CF.

It would have been easy for Sheri to pull out her checkbook and write a large donation to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and be done with it. But Sheri looked around at her surroundings and felt blessed with a loving and healthy family. She realized that this was her opportunity to return some of her good fortune in a way that would really make a difference. This small child changed the course of her life and the lives of hundreds of children afflicted with CF.

From that moment, the little boy became one of her "children", as she refers to the pictures that hang on the wall in her office. Strangers no longer, ignored no longer, because of Sheri's constant determination to find a cure for this deadly disease.

Sheri's passion and energy follows her wherever she goes. On a flight to Los Angeles, she met Steven McClintock, a very close friend of Country song writer Victoria Shaw. Steven suggested that Sheri get in touch with Victoria and that they might be able to work together. Within a matter of minutes, the man who thought he was only taking a normal plane flight, was on his way to County Music history.

Almost as soon as the plane landed, Sheri was on the phone to Victoria who offered to write a song specifically to benefit CF. Victoria accepted no salary, and she waved her rights as songwriter and performer so that all proceeds of the sale would go directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

But there was more. Victoria made phone calls. Sheri made phone calls. Each one reaching out their hearts to those in the Country Music industry. Together they assembled an impressive list of top Country names to record "One Heart at a Time".

Garth Brooks, Billy Dean, Faith Hill, Olivia Newton-John, Michael McDonald, Neal McCoy and Bryan White, along with Victoria, Steven, and Sheri, joined producers Cliff Downs and David Pack and a little boy named Charlie at the Bennett House in Franklin, Tennessee. Along with over twenty-five musicians and technicians, they spent three 21- hour long days and nights together and produced a song of hope.

"One Heart at a Time" isn't about sickness or disease. It's about the sound of children's laughter and how we, as healthy adults, " can all be heroes in the eyes of a child .... we can make adifference, we can go the distance, if we are willing to give of our ourselves....."

The song premiered at the fourth annual "Sizzlin' Country" concert last April in Burbank. The annual charity event to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the brainchild of Sheri who serves as Chairperson. "Sizzlin' Country" attracts recording giants of Country music. In addition to the artists on the CD, Tracy Lawrence, David Kersh, Daryle Singletary, lent their musical talents to the fight to find a cure. The CD has reached County notoriety when it was recently announced that it had been nominated for "Vocal Event of the Year" by The Academy of Country Music.

The National "Jazzersize" chain purchased 3,000 CD's for each of their exercise clubs. Members hear the song during their routine and buy it soon after.

For only $3.50, tax free, the CD is destined to become a collector's item, when, hopefully in the near future, there won't be a need for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, because through the efforts of Country Music stars, music fans, and people like Sheri Mount, they will have found a cure. One radio station at a time, one store at a time, one CD at a time, "One Heart At A Time."

For information on the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, call (800) FIGHT CF, or visit their Web site at www.cff.org.


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