PanAmerican Seed® is entering its fourth year of charitable contributions to less-widely known causes on behalf of Beacon® Impatiens. Over the years, the disease-resistant Beacon series has shined the light on several organizations through an annual donation of a percentage of global seed sales. For 2023, PanAmerican Seed announces this year's Beacon Impatiens donation will fight Friedreich's ataxia (FA), a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder affecting one in 40,000 people worldwide.
Beacon will partner with two charities fighting this disease – one in the United States and another in Australia. Both the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA - US) and Friedreich Ataxia Research Association (fara - Australia) are organizations dedicated to pursuing scientific research leading to treatments and cures for FA. During the 2023 gardening season, Beacon Impatiens will build awareness and show support for those living with this disease.
Through fundraising and donations, FARA (US) and fara (Australia) fund competitive grants for research, drug development, and clinical research programs. They promote collaboration among scientists worldwide, elevate the patient voice, and host open forums to advance therapeutic development for FA.
"We are so grateful to PanAmerican Seed for committing a portion of their Beacon Impatiens seed sales," says Jen Farmer, CEO of FARA (US). "When you support FARA through seed purchases, you are not only brightening your garden with colorful blooms but also helping to cultivate a bright future for those living with FA and their families." "We at fara (Australia) rely exclusively on the generosity of members of the public and commercial partners to raise funds for the critical research that will support hope and create impact," says Brad Hyde, CEO of fara (Australia). "The Beacon Impatiens' contribution to our fundraising efforts will support us in helping those living with FA to also 'grow stronger and shine longer.' Our thanks for this incredibly generous contribution to fund the research into treatments and, hopefully, one day, a cure for FA." "PanAmerican Seed is thrilled each year to give back and strengthen the human necessity to care and support those in need in our communities," says Sarah Makiejus, Marketing Manager for PanAmerican Seed. "By purchasing and planting Beacon Impatiens, gardeners can also take pride in making a difference in the world."
Symptoms of Friedreich's ataxia typically begin in childhood between the ages of 5 and 18. FA leads to loss of muscle coordination, fatigue, vision impairment, hearing loss and slurred speech, scoliosis, diabetes, and serious heart conditions.
Beyond the monetary donation at the completion of the 2023 season, PanAmerican Seed will raise further awareness of the FA fight through its social media channels, website, and customer communications. fara (Australia) will promote local garden retailers and nurseries where Beacon Impatiens are sold.
Beacon Impatiens was developed by PanAmerican Seed to have high resistance to Impatiens downy mildew (IDM), a devastating plant disease that has caused frustration and plant loss in gardens around the globe since 2010. Beacon Impatiens bloom all summer long and quickly fill hanging baskets, window boxes, patio containers, and landscapes with cheerful, brightly colored blooms. They offer the same look, size, and easy-to-grow care as traditional impatiens without the risk of IDM.
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Eva van der Cruijsen