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B y S H I R L E y D E L v A L L E , A S S O C I AT E E D I T O R Beyond BuSineSS ShipBuilding FindinG A CuRe FoR CySTiC FiBRoSiS Jim Harp’s 30-year labor of love Jim Harp is a man on a mission. He wants to help save lives. Within the maritime industry, Harp is a successful businessman—as Vice President and CFO he’s at the center of Hornbeck Offshore Services’ financial success having been its “chief accountant” and “financial architect” over the last 11 years. But it is his work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, what he calls a “30-year labor of love,” that’s truly inspiring. His desire to create awareness for the disease is evident to anyone he comes in contact with—he’s passionate, knowledgeable, and more than happy to provide you with facts on the disease, and how the foundation, with the help of financial donors, has been able to take important steps towards finding a cure for CF. Harp’s story with CF is a personal one. He lost his good friend Stephen Teagle to the disease 16 years ago. Harp witnessed first hand the disease’s impact on his friend’s life—from the handful of pills each day to the violent physicality of some of the treatments. But Teagle’s bravery and determination throughout his life have served as an inspiration to Harp, who has, for the last three decades, “been directly responsible for over $1 million dollars in donations, sponsorships and support,” explains Michelle Dugas, Development Manager, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “Over the years, he has been an unbelievable advocate for the foundation, for our chapter, and for what we do.” Ashley Mills, Executive Director of the foundation’s Louisiana Chapter says, “I have worked with him for many years and he has truly been the backbone of our growth as a Chapter over the last 10 years. Since Hurricane Katrina,” she continues, “no other single volunteer has done more for the Louisiana Chapter than Jim Harp. Jim’s dedication to reaching more people every year and telling them about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has led to tremendous growth for the Louisiana Chapter.” Harp currently serves on the board Stephen Teagle and Jim Harp at a 1995 golf fundraiser for CF. Teagle died from CF on August 21, 1996 of directors and is an advocate for the foundation creating CF awareness and recruiting others to help reach fundraising goals. The CF Foundation is also one of Hornbeck Offshore’s charities of choice. This past summer, Harp marked his 30th anniversary working with the foundation by chairing the 41st annual AT&T Bobby Hebert Golf Classic, where he surpassed his personal goal of $100,000 in donations by $10,000. In total, the tournament, which for the first time in its history sold out, raised $140,000 net. Harp’s ability to reach and surpass his fundraising goals is a direct result of his passion and his pay-it-forward attitude. “His enthusiasm for crossing the goal line on a cure for CF is contagious and he passes that passion on to friends, colleagues and strangers who in turn have done tremendous things for the Louisiana Chapter,” says Mills. WHAT IS CF? The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, founded in 1955 by a group of parents whose children were suffering from the disease, describes CF as an “inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States” and 70,000 worldwide. It is also the num- ber one genetic killer of children and young adults in the U.S. CF is a result of a defective gene and its protein product which produces a thick, sticky mucus that can clog lungs, lead to life-threatening lung infections, obstruct the pancreas and prevents natural enzymes from helping the body breakdown and absorb food. While the number of CF sufferers is in the thousands, Harp notes, that “More than ten million Americans are symptomless carriers of the defective CF gene.” STRIDES FORWARD For a cause to capture Harp’s attention, it has to appeal to both his head and heart. When it came to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation “the heart part (was) easy,” Harp says, “I just think of Stephen and the kids [living with CF].” However, the head part, he explains, is far more objective. For starters, the big question is: Where is the money raised going to? Harp proudly explains that ninety cents of every dollar donated to the CF Foundation goes directly to patient care and research. This enables most of the funding to go directly to finding a cure. Donations are of vital importance to the foundation. CF is often considered an “orphan disease” because it doesn’t nOVEMBER 2012 MARINE LOG 45

Nov 2012 Marine Log Magazine

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