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Annette's Story
 Aired: October 6, 2012 
W5 takes an exclusive, in-depth look at the effects Multiple Sclerosis has had on 'Americas Sweetheart', Annette Funicello, since being forced to retire from public life nearly 15 years ago. Also, hear how her husband and caretaker, Glen Holt came to embrace CCSVI treatment for his wife and support it's research through The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.
Annette's Place - 15% Off All Products
Annette's Place now has a storefront on our Shop and Support page!  Right now, Zazzle is offering 15% off all products in our store when you use the coupon code LASTCHANCE12 at checkout!  This is a limited time offer and additional details are available in the store.  Keep in mind, there are only two days remaining to place your order to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas!  So hurry and browse our vast selection of merchandise, take advantage of the current sale prices, and support a great cause as well!
Annette's Place Now Open for Business
Looking for a special gift for that Disney or Annette fan this Christmas? How about a special treat for yourself?  Well, check out Annette's NEW online store!  Annette's Place offers a large selection of products featuring original Annette Funicello inspired artwork, created specifically for The Annette Funicello Research Fund by former Disney artists; Kevin Kidney and Anne White. 100% of the proceeds from the profit of these items will benefit The Annette Funicello Research Fund.  This is yet another great way to support Annette's fund in addition to a direct contribution!
Annette's Place will soon be opening a storefront on our website's Shop and Support page. Until then you can browse the new store HERE.
CalArts to House Rare Mickey Mouse Club Memorabilia
The personal archive of the popular Mickey Mouse Club host, Jimmie Dodd has found a home at the California Institue of the Arts' Library. The collection includes Jimmie's original mouse ears, his Mousegetar, photographs, original scores (Dodd penned the show's theme song, The Mickey Mouse Club March) and much more!  
CalArts, which was founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy O. Disney in 1961, was chosen as the caretakers of the collection due to their connections with the Disney family. 
More information on this exciting news can be found HERE.
Annette and Her Research Fund in Elvis International
Released in conjunction with the 35th Anniversary of Elvis' passing, this special edition of Elvis International includes a short write-up, recapping Annette's missed opportunity of meeting the 'King of Rock-and-Roll' as well as her continued efforts as an advocate for MS patients and research.
Elvis International is the official magazine of Graceland.  With stunning photos and informative articles, it is highly recommended and sure to please even the most casual Elvis admirer!
Mickey Has the Right Idea....
The title of the Little Golden Book, pictured above, couldn't be more appropriate as Christmas shopping is undoubtedly among the many things at the forefront of your mind. Let us help!!
This Mickey Mouse Club edition of Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas Shopping, autographed inside by original Mouseketeers Doreen Tracey, Bobby Burgess and Tommy Cole, was recently listed on Ebay by Saturday's Toys on behalf of The Annette Funicello Research Fund.  With a starting bid of only $24.95, this vintage book with charming holiday illustrations is perfect for gift giving or for your own collection.  A very limited number of Little Golden Books as well as newer Disney titles, all autographed in honor of Annette's 70th birthday, are still available, but going fast. One very special book currently listed is a copy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs autographed by the above Mouseketeers as well as Adriana Caselotti (1916 - 1997), the actress who provided the voice of Snow White in Walt Disney's full-length animated classic!  Get these rare collectables while you can!!
View all of our current auction listings HERE. 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of these items benefit The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.
Have an item of value you would like to donate to be auctioned to benefit Annette's research fund?  Email us at webmaster@annetteconnection.com for more information.

 Shop Amazon & Support the AFRF This Holiday Season
The official start of the holiday shopping season, ready or not, is upon us!  While many will fight the crowds and lines at stores, a growing percentage of shoppers will choose to do some, if not all of their Christmas shopping online this year.  Amazon.com is a popular stop for online shippers and we would like to remind you that by simply accessing their website from our Shop and Support page, a portion of your total order will benefit the work of The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.  What a great way to make a gift purchase that keeps on giving!
Dr. McDonald Awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal
If you haven't heard, Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases Science Review Board member, Dr. Sandy McDonald was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on September 28, 2012 in Barri.  This recognition was bestowed upon him for his tireless efforts of advancing CCSVI treatment in Canada as well as the work he does within his community.
Dr. McDonald is Canada's leading CCSVI expert and is currently conducting two IRB approved studies on CCSVI.
All of us at the AFRF extend our congratulations to Dr. McDonald and continued success in his research efforts!

 AFRF Releases 2011 CCF Fiscal Report
The California Community Foundation 2011 fiscals for the Annette Funicello Research Fund are are now available to view HERE.  
Two AFRF Science Review Board Members Address Senate
Dr. Zamboni, Dr. Zivadinov and Dr. Laupacis addressed the Parliament of Canada on Thursday, November 1, 2012 in regard to Bill S-204, an act to establish a national strategy for CCSVI.
Annette's Second Fantasy Island Episode Released on DVD
After making her debut on 'Fantasy Island' during the show's second season, Annette returned to the popular show the following year to star in the episode; Mary Ann and Miss Sophisticate.  Annette plays Mary Ann Carlin, a famous ventriloquist who's puppet has grown tired of being the one controlled and attempts to take over.  This episode, which first aired March 8, 1980, is among the 23 episodes now available on the Fantasy Island, The Complete Third Season, DVD set. 
Don't forget, if you order through our website a portion of your purchase will benefit the efforts of The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.
'Thank You'
Sincere thanks to each and every person who has participated in The Annette Funicello Research Fund 'Penny Campaign' so far. God bless you for your kindness and continued support! 
We also want to thank everyone who posted birthday wishes to Annette on Facebook and the new 'Penny Campaign' page of our website.  All birthday messages that were emailed through annetteconnection.com were forwarded and warmly received by Annette and her husband, Glen.
Don't forget to visit the new 'Penny Campaign' page on our website and consider how you might support the work of the Annette Funicello Research Fund throughout this year-long fund-raising campaign.  Remember....no donation is too small....every penny counts!
'Americas Sweetheart' turns 70 today, and to celebrate this important birthday, The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases is launching a year-long penny campaign to underscore the fact that EVERY penny of EVERY donation to her research fund counts. Thousands of people visit this website and the Research Fund Facebook page each month.  If every person contributed, even a dollar, it would significantly increase the number of grants and clinical studies that could be funded in Annette's name. 
Please visit our new Penny Campaign page for more information on how to donate your pennies.  There is also a place on the page to read and share favorite Annette stories and memories, as well as your own plans for how you might contribute to Annette's organization over the course of her 70th Birthday year! If we all work together and do what we can, we will be able to fulfill Annette's greatest birthday wish of funding research into the cause, treatment and cure of MS, and other neurological diseases as well.
ALSO launching today is the Research Fund YouTube channel!  Birthday messages for Annette from some of her famous friends and fans will be posted throughout the day.  You can visit the channel anytime by clicking the YouTube icon on the right-hand side of any page of our website.
Listen:  Brief to the Senate of Canada
This is an audio version of a brief written by Christopher Alkenbrack to the Senate of Canada in support of Senator Jane Cordy's Private member bill S-204, "An Act to Establish a National Strategy for Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency".  Please take the time to listen to this man's personal story and appeal.

Saturday's Toys Holds Auction for Annette's Fund
If you collect Disneyana and shop Ebay you are most likely familiar with Saturday's Toys, a prominent dealer of treasures from the golden age of the Walt Disney Company. At this time, you can bid on select items that have been set aside from Saturday's Toys' own inventory, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Annette's research fund.  "Having viewed the recent CTV/W5 report I was moved to participate in the renewed effort to raise funds for the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases" says owner, Dave Mason.
There are currently ten items up for bid, ranging from a vintage Mickey Mouse Club fan card, signed by original Mousketeer Cubby O'Brien as a child in 1956/1957, to vintage Mickey Mouse Club pins and Disneyland puzzles!  First auction to end will be on October 16th with the rest of the lots closing the following day. 
The Annette Funicello Research Fund is happy to collaborate with Saturday's Toys on this fundraising venture.  Please view the current selection of auction items HERE 
ERROR CORRECTED: Credit Card Donations Accepted
Online donations to The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases can once again be made instantly using a credit card through our website.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience our recent technical difficulties may have caused.  We thank you for your patience and generous support!
Clip and Discussion on Tonight's W5 Annette Exclusive
CTV News sat down with Avis Favaro, the correspondent who covered the new Annette Funicello documentary, to talk about Annette's Story, which will premier on W5 tonight at 7PM EST.  Avis' discussion along with a short clip from tonight's piece can be viewed HERE.  
Don't get W5 in your area?  No worries!  Annette's Story will be available for viewing HERE soon after tonight's premier.
Babes in Toyland Coming to Blu-Ray
After celebrating it's 50th Anniversary just last year, Walt Disney's Babes in Toyland is scheduled to debut on Blu-Ray December 11, 2012, just in time for the holidays!  One detail of this release that will be of particular interest to fans, is that unlike the studios previous offerings of the film, Amazon.com is advertising this Blu-Ray edition as a Widescreen (1.85:1) release! While specifics of the release are largely reported as being 'unavailable' online, there are other websites promoting a Widescreen edition as well.  Fans of all ages have been hoping to see this colorful, musical spectacular restored  to it's unaltered aspect ratio since the dawn of DVD. 
While we are unable to offer any confirmation regarding the presentation format of the upcoming release today, we can provide you with a link where you can pre-order the Blu-Ray version of Babes in Toyland from Amazon.com.  By simply clicking on the image above to place your order, a portion of your purchase will benefit The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.
Annette's Birthday Wish
Annette will celebrate her 70th Birthday on October 22, and what does she have on her wish list this year?  Answer: A donation of any amount to her Research Fund. 
Both Annette and her husband Glen are requesting that anyone thinking about sending a card or gift, instead make a contribution to The Annette Funicello Research Fund. "Whenever we get a donation in the mail or a statement from the Research Fund, I read the names and donation amounts to Annie" says her husband, Glen.  "They bring a smile to her face.  Whether it is the cost of a greeting card or more, your support of her mission to help others is what will make her birthday especially happy."
While they are asking no Birthday cards or packages be mailed, Birthday greetings to Annette are welcome through our website by emailing them to: webmaster@annetteconnection.com. We will be sure she receives them all!
W5 to Premier an Intimate Look at Annette's Life Today
Premiering Saturday, October 6 at 7PM EST on CTV, W5 takes an exclusive, in-depth look at the effects MS has had on Annette since retiring from public life nearly 15 years ago as well as her husband and caretaker, Glen Holt's decision to embrace CCSVI treatment for his wife and support it's research through The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.
Annette's Story can also be seen on:
  • CTV -  Sunday, October 7 at 5PM EST
  • Investigation Discovery - Tuesdays at 11PM EST and Wednesdays at 3AM EST, 6AM EST, and 12Noon EST
  • On demand at CTVNews.ca/W5  (Available shortly after the October 6th debut)
Read the full press release HERE



An Executive Overview of Australian CCSVI Developments
In May 2011, as an adjunct to World MS Day, Janelle Saffin, MP first raised the issue of CCSVI and Multiple Sclerosis in the Australian Parliament.  Subsequently all 225 parliamentary representatives were lobbied on this matter.  The issue is achieving further momentum through ongoing media coverage and parliamentary presentations.  These processes are proving invaluable in not only creating awareness of this important issue but also in identifying /clarifying key national issues along with areas of difference and common ground.  Concurrently, there have been significant advances in the global understanding of CCSVI related issues. 
The latest News Update by the Multiple Sclerosis Network of Care provides an Executive Overview of major developments from the perspective of many people with MS.  It includes a Quick Reference Guide to a representative cross section of emerging CCSVI understandings.  To read, click HERE
Last week the Annette Funicello Research Fund began accepting credit card donations on Fundly.com. It has been brought to our attention that there may have been some confusion regarding the $100 amount shown in the donation box on our page. Please be aware this was only a "suggested donation" amount, standard to the Fundly website template.  Credit card donations of $10 or more can be made anytime on Fundly.com and contributions of any amount are always graciously accepted by mail at:
The Annette Funicello Research Fund
Fund-Raising Division
P.O. Box 599
Shafter, CA 93263
Those wishing to make a donation by credit card will now be directed to a different page that shows the minimum donation amount of $10 instead of the $100 "suggested donation". We apologize for any confusion and appreciate your consideration and support.
AFRF Now Accepting Donations by Credit Card
The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases is now accepting donations by credit card through Fundly.com.  This new option allows you to make your contribution instantly, safely and securely.  Whether through the mail or online, learn how to make a contribution anytime by clicking the DONATE button on the right hand side of our website.  We thank you for your continued support.
Follow the AFRF on Facebook
We are excited to announce that The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases has launched it's official Facebook page.  It will be updated regularly by the Fund staff to provide you with the latest news and updates on Annette and the Research Fund.  Click HERE to view!  We hope you will check in often.
Yesterday USA Radio Interview
Executive Director of the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases, Lorraine Santoli, was invited to talk about the Research Fund on the Yesterday USA radio program.  Her interview is available HERE.
The Geography of Multiple Sclerosis
An interesting piece on the world distribution of Multiple Sclerosis can be viewed HERE.
Dr. Zamboni CCSVI Interview
Canadian television produced an important CCSVI news story in 2009, featuring one of the first in-depth interviews with Dr. Paolo Zamboni, the "father" of CCSVI.  The piece takes an interesting look at the Doctors personal story in relation to the research he is leading and how patients are responding to treatment.  Click HERE to view.
Emily's CCSVI Story
"I made this video primarily for my doctors so they could see how they gave me my life back.  I want to thank all of them, especially Dr. Dake, Dr. Madej, Dr. Banks, and Dr. Diana!
I also wanted to show how important medical research is.  When I first got sick the effects of CCSVI hadn't even been described yet.  Fast forward five years and the procedure to correct the CCSVI has dramatically improved my quality of life.  Who knows what five more years in medical research will bring!"

"Facebook Medicine" Prompts Global Collaboration for Annette Funicello Research Fund
Press Release is available HERE.
The Shaggy Dog Page Launched
Annette made her feature film debut in, The Shaggy Dog. Today we launch our web-page containing fun facts and photos from this classic Disney film.
Annette's Fantasy Island Episode Released on DVD
Annette co-stars with Ken Berry in the Fantasy Island episode; 'Ghostbreaker' (1979), now available on DVD as part of the long-awaited release of the series' complete second season. In her first of three guest appearances on the popular series, Annette plays Edna Kamberly, the head mistress and owner of a 'haunted' girls school.
Don't forget, you can support the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases by purchasing this, or any other product on Amazon.com though our website.  Visit our Shop and Support page for further details.  We sincerely thank all who have and continue to support the Research Fund in this way. 
LISTEN: Magic 24.7 Interview
Last month, Executive Director of The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases, Lorraine Santoli was interviewed on Magic 24.7 to discuss the Research Fund, Annette, and The Mickey Mouse Club.  If you missed the interview or would like to listen again, it is available in two parts below.
Magic 24.7 Interview 3/22/12
Part 1

 Part 2

D23 Magazine: "To Annette, With Love"
Annette's husband, Glen Holt recently took part in an exclusive in-depth interview about their life together and the challenges of living with MS for the Summer issue of Disney Twenty-Three Magazine, available May 1.  If you are not a D23 Member, you will be able to purchase your copy at retail locations across the country or online at DisneyStore.com for $15.95.
San Francisco:  CCSVI Symposium/Interview
Annette Funicello Research Fund Advisory Board member, Carol Schumacher and Annette Funicello Research Fund grant recipient, Dr. Michael Dake, were interviewed by ABC 7 News, San Francisco yesterday in the stations coverage of the CCSVI related events being held in the Bay Area this week.  The interview is available HERE.
Tonight, Dr. Dake will serve as moderator of the Doctors Roundtable Discussion: CCSVI and MS, at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA.  Registration begins at 6:30pm and the program at 7:00pm.  This is an admission free event.  Further information can be found on the CCSVI Alliance website.
Join our Mailing List, Get a FREE Recipe from Annette
Sign-up on our home page to receive your copy of one of Annette's own delicious recipes, written in her own hand.  Simply provide your name and email address in the box provided. Type in the four letter security code on the next screen and proceed as instructed.  Your email containing the link to your FREE recipe should arrive in your Inbox within minutes.  If not, check your spam folder as it may have been delivered there.  Your email address will be kept private and used only to provide you with occasional news and important updates from AnnetteConnection.com.
Annette and the MMC to be the Topic of Radio Program
Lorraine Santoli, author of The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book and Executive Director of The Annette Funicello Research Fund Board of Advisors will be interviewed by internet radio station Magic 24.7 on Thursday, March 22 around 9pm Eastern Standard Time, 6pm Pacific.  She will be discussing The Mickey Mouse Club, Annette, and the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.  Mark your calendars and listen LIVE on the Magic 24.7 website!
Robert Sherman Passes Away
We are sad to report that Disney Legend, Robert Sherman has passed away in London at age 86.  He, along with his brother Richard composed Annette's biggest hit singles as well as some of the most memorable Disney songs of all time, including "It's a Small World" and the music from Mary Poppins.
The Sherman's were struggling songwriters until they got their big break in 1958 when Annette recorded their song "Tall Paul".  The song shot to number seven on the charts and sold 700,000 singles. They have since referred to Annette as their "Lucky Star". They continued to write hit's for Annette and soon, Walt Disney took notice and brought them on as staff  composers.  The Sherman Brothers received four Academy Award nominations for more than 200 songs they wrote for 27 films and two dozen television productions during their thirteen year career at Disney.
Robert's son, Jeff shared the news of his fathers passing by posting the following message on his Facebook page:
Hello to family and friends, I have very sad news to convey. My Dad, Robert B. Sherman, passed away tonight in London. He went peacefully after months of truly valiantly fending off death. He loved life and his dear heart finally slowed to a stop when he could fight no more. I will write more about this incredible man I love and admire so much when I am better rested and composed. He deserves that. In the meantime, please say a prayer for him. As he said, he wanted to bring happiness to the world and, unquestionably, he succeeded. His love and his prayers, his philosophy and his poetry will live on forever. Forever his songs and his genius will bring hope, joy and love to this small, small world. I love you, Dad. Safe travels. Love, Jeff
Robert and his brother have been good friends of ours for many years.  We are saddened to hear of his passing and extend our sympathy to his son Jeff, his brother Richard, and to the rest of his family.  Robert will be greatly missed, and like his songs, will never be forgotten.
God Bless,
Annette and Glen Holt
CCSVI Symposium in San Francisco
A CCSVI symposium will be held on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at the Marriott Marquis - San Francisco, California.  Michael D. Dake, MD will serve as moderator of the Doctors Roundtable Discussion and Q&A session. This event is free and open to the public.  Please visit www.ccsvi.org for further information and registration.
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ANNETTECONNECTION.COM is the official website of Annette Funicello and The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases.