The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) announced that it has raised nearly $600,000 for drug discovery programs and clinical trials during the Ninth Annual Great Ladies Luncheon & Fashion Show on May 1. The event featured fashions from Carolina Herrera New York in partnership with Neiman Marcus Tysons Galleria and Mazza Gallerie and assembled distinguished guests in philanthropy, fashion, science, media, and sports.
T.J. Oshie and Dr. Michela Gallagher. Photo by Tony Powell.
The event at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC was hosted by sports broadcaster and Washington native, Lindsay Czarniak, who introduced one of this year's honorees, Washington Capitals hockey player and Stanley Cup winner T.J. Oshie. Oshie was honored for his commitment to advancing awareness of Alzheimer's disease since his father was diagnosed in 2012. Czarniak, who reported on sports for years in Washington, interviewed Oshie during the 2018 playoffs in which the Capitals won the Cup, and Oshie attributed his win to his father during that emotional interview.
T.J. Oshie graciously accepted the honor from the ADDF and delivered a message of hope to guests. "The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation has given me and my family hope that with the advancement of medicine and the efforts of people like Dr. Fillit, we will one day prevent Alzheimer's and find a cure. Thank you for this very special honor."
Dr. Michela Gallagher, founder and CEO of AgeneBio, Inc. and professor at Johns Hopkins University, was also honored at the luncheon for her work advancing treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Gallagher received the inaugural Estelle Gelman Award for Innovation in Drug Discovery for her groundbreaking research that holds the potential to yield the first drug to slow the progression of symptoms associated with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease.
The day began with NBC's Andrea Mitchell who opened the Symposium to Conquer Alzheimer's, which was sponsored by Eli Lilly. Led by the ADDF's Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer Dr. Howard Fillit, panelists Dr. Marilyn S. Albert of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Richard S. Isaacson of Weill Cornell Medicine, and Dr. Eric Siemers of Siemers Integration LLC, discussed the role of biomarkers in early detection and accurate diagnosis, as well as prevention and importance of brain health.
"Novel biomarkers, such as those being developed by the ADDF Diagnostics Accelerator program, are critical to developing better Alzheimer's treatments," said Dr. Fillit. "Just as cholesterol is an early biomarker for heart disease, our aim is to have a simple, inexpensive blood test that would allow doctors to more easily screen patients for Alzheimer's disease."
The symposium was followed by lunch and a fashion show featuring the Fall 2019 Collection from Carolina Herrera New York for nearly 500 guests. In attendance was President of Carolina Herrera Emilie Rubinfield as well as Creative Director Wes Gordon.
The Great Ladies Luncheon would not be possible without the generous support of Founding Executive Chairs Elise and Marc Lefkowitz, Leonard A. Lauder, and Ronald S. Lauder. In attendance were Ladies Benefit Committee Co-Chairs Kristin Rae Cecchi, Dana Landow, Kelly Ripken, Lorraine Wallace, and Cathy Merrill Williams; and Core Support Underwriter Co-Chairs Pennie Abramson, Shelley Banks, Faith Bobrow, Marcella Cohen, Nancy Goodes, Dena Henry, Katy Kamen, and Patricia Bennett Sagon.