Our Story

How It All Started…

From a Backyard Barbecue to Headlining Bands

When one of their own became unexpectedly diagnosed with a rare kidney disease, a group of lifelong Tampa friends joined forces to host a backyard barbecue cookoff, and they called it the Pig Jig.

The small fundraiser initially intended to help their friend, Will Wellman, face the medical expenses associated with his FSGS diagnosis. What began as a backyard competition among friends gained steam and grew into the Tampa Pig Jig on the River, an annual waterfront fundraiser featuring nationally recognized country and rock music artists, delicious food, ice-cold beer, a corporate BBQ competition, and more!

Since its inception in 2011, the HopeWill Foundation (formerly Old Florida Foundation) has hosted the Tampa Pig Jig, donating millions to NephCure, the only nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for rare, protein-spilling kidney disease. With a goal to ‘Cue Up a Cure for FSGS, the Pig Jig has become NephCure’s largest annual donor nationwide and has helped launch more than 60 clinical trials.

Though our event has grown, our mission has always been the same

To raise awareness and funding for NephCure, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting research, improving treatment, and finding a cure for the rare and debilitating kidney disease, FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis), and Nephrotic Syndrome.

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Main Will Photo

Where There’s A Will

There’s A Way!

The HopeWill Foundation is firmly committed to fighting against FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome. Through collaborative efforts, it aims to accelerate progress towards improved treatments and, ultimately, a cure. The foundation focuses on building a strong patient community and giving back to families in meaningful ways. Building on the success of Tampa Pig Jig, the HopeWill Foundation is expanding its philanthropic efforts in Tampa Bay, focused on an enduring local impact.

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Will’s Story