On Monday, former model and restaurateur B. Smith was honored by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) at its Fifth Annual Fall Symposium & Luncheon “Hope on the Horizon” at The Pierre in New York City. Smith, who publicly revealed her early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis in June, was presented with The Charles Evans Award at Monday’s Luncheon for using her powerful platform to promote public awareness and raise critical funds to combat Alzheimer’s disease.
Smith graciously accepted the award in a purple dress, the official color of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, with her husband and long-time business partner Dan Gasby by her side. During her speech, Smith became overwhelmed with emotion and her husband stepped in to finish, saying, “Sweetie prepared a speech, but we’ll just speak from the heart quickly.” Gasby went on to say that instead of starting their own foundation, they decided to support ADDF because, “We wanted to go where we knew the dollars were going to be used most judiciously and with the greatest amount of intellectual capabilities.”
Following the award presentation, Emmy Award-winning journalist Paula Zahn conducted an informative onstage interview with Dr. Howard Fillit, ADDF’s Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, and Dr. Michael W. Weiner, a Professor of Medicine, Radiology, Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco; Principal Investigator of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI).
Leonard A. Lauder, ADDF Co-Founder, closed out the event by thanking guests for coming and telling them, “This is a passion. And it’s passion and drive that get things done. And we’ll get this done for you!”
The event began with a morning presentation from Dr. Fillit, entitled “Conquering Alzheimer’s Disease: A Progress Report.” Dr. Fillit shared an insider’s view of the latest news in the field of Alzheimer’s drug development and discussed aging and prevention, and what individuals can do today to protect their lifelong cognitive vitality.
The event raised more than $860,000 to support Alzheimer's drug research, and donations will go to research and related programs.
B. Smith (2014 Recipient of The Charles Evans Award, Restaurateur and TV Lifestyle Expert), Leonard A. Lauder (Co-Chairman and Co-Founder, ADDF), Howard Fillit, MD (Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, ADDF), Bonnie Pfeifer Evans (Trustee, The Charles Evans Foundation), Alice Shure (Trustee, The Charles Evans Foundation), Paula Zahn (Eight-Time Emmy Award-Winning Journalist), Michael W. Weiner, MD (Professor of Medicine, Radiology, Psychiatry and Neurology, University of California San Francisco), Debra Lee (CEO & Chairman of BET), Maurice DuBois (CBS New York Anchorman), S. Epatha Merkerson (Actress), Tichina Arnold (Actress), among others.