On Tuesday, April 10, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) celebrated its inaugural Memories Matter benefit event at Chelsea Piers. It was the largest event in the ADDF’s history, welcoming nearly 700 guests.
The ADDF, which is the only charity devoted solely to finding new drugs for Alzheimer’s, raised $1.2 million at Memories Matter. The event was founded by ADDF Board member Wendy Wilshin and Stephanie Ginsberg. During their remarks, Ms. Wilshin said: “Both Stephanie and I know the devastation of this disease ﬁrst hand, having mothers who suﬀer from it. It’s a shared experience that brought us together to ﬁght for a cure.”
During the emotional program, several other speakers shared their own experience with Alzheimer’s disease. Event Co-Chair Roni McGuffog opened the event with a heartfelt account of her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the 10 years he spent living with the disease. ADDF Board of Overseers chair Sharon Sager talked about her grandmother’s battle, and later, her aunt’s. Rachel Williams and Marlee Berliner told a very different kind of Alzheimer’s story. At only 52, their mother developed early-onset Alzheimer’s. They thanked the ADDF and the researchers it supports for their work, saying: “We are one step closer to a world without Alzheimer’s and a world that would have allowed our mother to be a part of our life’s journey.”
ADDF CEO Mark Roithmayr and its Chief Science Officer Dr. Howard Fillit echoed that sentiment and explained why they are hopeful about finding a cure. Though estimates of how many Baby Boomers will get Alzheimer’s are rising, Dr. Fillit said that this could be the generation that stops it. He explained that there are more than 120 drugs for Alzheimer’s already being tested in human clinical trials and more are on the way, thanks in large part to the generosity of private philanthropists. Mr. Roithmayr and several other speakers noted that 100% of every donation to the ADDF goes to directly to fund life-saving research.
Guests enjoyed a live auction of fantastic prizes, led by Howie Schwartz. Items ranged from a luxury yacht weekend to Trophy Club passes for the final round of the US Open Golf Championship to an in-home dinner by the chef of Rao’s. The silent auction was also a big hit, with guests bidding on prizes including tickets to Elton John’s farewell tour and a luxury gift set from La Mer.
The evening featured music by the Nancy Atlas Project and gorgeous décor courtesy of Lawrence Scott Events. Additional guests included founding chairs Ian Ginsberg and Ronald Dickerman; Co-Chairs Hope and Marc Altheim, Cindy and Glen Edelman, Elizabeth and Paul Greenbaum, Sheri and Seth Leist, Andrea and Jeffrey Lomasky, Charles McGuffog, Karen and Marc Spector, and Cindy and Laurence Tell; Host Committee members Jill and Michael Berman, Tracey and Mark Bilski, Karen and Len Breslow, Anne and Andrew Diamond, Kiera and Christopher Johnson, Lisa Ritter-Kahn, Carla and Rob Karen, Lori and Jimmy Krantz, Julie Levine and Dean Johnson, Elyssa and Mitch Margolis, Candace and Jeff Moskowitz, Amelia and Steven Paston, Lori and John Reinsberg, Shari and Mel Stark, Dana and Craig Vogel, and Jillian Winoker; Entertainment Chairs Cori and Sandy Goldfarb; and ADDF Board members Larry Leeds, Tom Scanlan, and Stephen Toma.