On Monday, April 27, 2015, American theatre director, choreographer, film director and performer Susan Stroman hosted the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s (ADDF) Ninth Annual Connoisseur’s Dinner at Sotheby’s in New York City.
With an audience of more than 230, Stroman spoke poignantly about the experience of losing her partner, director Steven Weisberg, to early-onset Alzheimer’s. “It’s devastating to watch someone disappear in front of you,” she said. “The ADDF gives us hope for a treatment one day.”
Co-chaired by Leonard A. Lauder of the Estée Lauder cosmetics family, the black-tie event featured fine wine, food and art. Also in attendance were Barbara and Donald Tober, Rose Marie Bravo, Paula Zahn and Meryl Comer.
Jamie Niven, Chairman, Sotheby’s Americas, hosted the evening’s lively “Fund a Scientist” auction, which gave guests the opportunity to support the science of three renowned Alzheimer’s researchers: Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, of the University of Southern California, and Joseph Foss, MD, and Mohamed Naguib, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The auction raised more than $1 million.
Later in the evening, Leonard A. Lauder presented the ADDF’s Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, Howard Fillit, MD, with the Chairman’s Award for Lifetime Achievement. Dr. Fillit, a geriatrician, neuroscientist and leading expert in Alzheimer’s disease, was recognized for leading a life of compassion, innovation and leadership in Alzheimer’s disease.
Said Dr. Fillit, “Our ambition at ADDF is to create a world of older people who, despite some arthritis, heart disease, and even surviving a cancer, have the mental vitality to continue to contribute productively to society, to give back with wisdom because of decades of experience, and provide a legacy of love to families and friends.”