Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:21 am Post subject: Rita Hayworth gala to fight Alzheimer’s
27th Rita Hayworth gala raises $1.7 million to fight Alzheimer’s
The Event: Nearly 1000 attendees converged on the Hilton Chicago on May 10 to make a stand against Alzheimer’s disease at the 27th annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth gala. Founded by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan in honor of her mother, the actress Rita Hayworth who succumbed to Alzheimer’s late in life; the event has since raised in excess of $61 million dollars towards a cure.
Chaired by Fifi Levin of Highland Park, whose father is currently fighting the disease, and Karen Segal of Glencoe whose mother is afflicted, the evening also honored the MacLean Family of Lake Forest with the 2014 Civic Honor.
Cause Célèbre: “It’s very personal to me,” said Levin. “My father has it and I am hoping that my kids don’t have to do this one day; that future generations will not be impacted by this illness.”
Deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 68 percent between 2000 and 2010, with 500,000 seniors dying each year of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Unfortunately at this point there is no treatment or cure for the disease and we need to fund research in order to (find one),” said Segal.
In addition, organizers encouraged all people, not just those already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, to participate in the current trial match. “Because the more well people we get participating in clinical trials, the better hopes we have of finding a cure,” said Segal.
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. The association urges everyone to recognize June 21 as “The Longest Day,” and to “Go Purple” to show their support to end Alzheimer’s. See alz.org.
The association estimates that in 2013, more than 15 million family and friends provided nearly 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, care valued at $220.2 billion. Proceeds from the evening will go towards funding research geared specifically at determining how to turn the gene that causes Alzheimer’s on and off, and what triggers the disease.
Bottom Line: The event raised a record $1.7 million.
Jerome H. Stone, a philanthropist, prominent businessman, and founding president of the Alzheimer’s Association, passed away January 1, 2015 in Chicago at the age of 101.
Harry Johns, the current CEO and president of the Alzheimer’s Association said in a press release: “We deeply mourn the loss of Jerry Stone. He was a visionary leader who shaped the Alzheimer’s Association and its mission through his character and commitment. His passion to change the course of Alzheimer’s disease was inspiring from the start and galvanized community caregivers, people with the disease, researchers and advocates that the Alzheimer’s Association continues to work on behalf of and with today.”
Throughout the years, Stone built a meaningful legacy. From helping to build the multi-billion dollar Stone Container Corporation, becoming co-founder of the Catholic-Jewish Dialogue Group, chairman of Roosevelt University’s Board of Trustees, playing a role in the creation of the Chicago’s main library, and raising significant money for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, he played crucial roles in several projects. As a symbol of all his involvement in the city’s projects, it erected an honorary street sign with his name in 2001.
His wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1970, which made him aware of the need for a leader in this field, so that caregivers, patients, prevention, and research initiatives for better treatments and a cure could be united. This determination led him to create the Alzheimer’s Association in 1979.
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, chair of the Alzheimer’s Association National Board of Directors and founder of the Rita Hayworth Galas in memory and honor of her mother who also died of Alzheimer’s said in a press release: “Jerry’s passion for the cause was evident from our first conversation. He called me and said, ‘You don’t know me, but I know who you are and I know of your mother (Rita Hayworth), and we have something in common. He told me that his wife had Alzheimer’s disease and asked me to have lunch. Jerry was an inspiration, an amazing man, a true leader and friend. He was my hero.”
Thanks to Jerome H. Stone and his dedication, the Alzheimer’s Association is now the most influential organization fighting against Alzheimer’s disease. Today, the Association is committed to intensively advancing care, patient support, research, educational programs, and finding better ways to improve the lives of those suffering from this type of demen
How Princess Yasmin Aga Khan is Advocating for Alzheimer's Disease
By J.P. Anderson | November 2, 2015 | Lifestyle
As Alzheimer’s disease reaches epidemic proportions and millions of Americans observe National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan strives to raise awareness—and much-needed funds—in honor of her mother, the late Hollywood legend Rita Hayworth.
Rita Hayworth, the embodiment of Hollywood glamour in the ’40s and ’50s, became one of the first public faces of Alzheimer’s disease.
Elegantly clad in a body-skimming black and white gown, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan is the picture of grace as she mingles with the black-tie crowd in the grand ballroom of Chicago’s Hilton Towers Hotel, which is festooned in royal purple on this Saturday night in May. With blonde hair cascading down her shoulders and sparkling Cartier diamond chandelier earrings capturing the light around her face, Aga Khan may be dressed for a celebration, but to anyone familiar with her passionate, decades long fight against Alzheimer’s disease, she clearly means business.
This is the Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, a grand event held in New York and Chicago inspired by one of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s glamour queens, Aga Khan’s mother. Diagnosed in 1981, Hayworth, the embodiment of Hollywood sex appeal in the ’40s and ’50s, was one of the first public faces of Alzheimer’s—the most common form of dementia. The condition, thought to be caused by the buildup of abnormal proteins (called “plaques and tangles”) in the brain, often results in the gradual loss of memory and severe cognitive impairment. Hayworth’s health had already seriously degenerated by the time of her diagnosis at age 62.
“It started with problems remembering her lines when filming,” notes Aga Khan, “and quickly developed into behavioral changes as well. I was actually relieved when she received the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s because it explained why she was acting so differently than the mother I knew my whole life.” As Hayworth’s condition worsened, it was Aga Khan who came to her side. “Our roles reversed,” she muses. “I became the mother and her guardian, and I had to do whatever I could do.”
Back then in the early 1980s, there wasn’t much she could do. Alzheimer’s was not yet a part of the public consciousness, and even the Alzheimer’s Association was just “a mom and pop organization,” as founder Jerry Stone described it to her at that time. But bolstered by the support the organization offered—and nudged by family friend Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who said, “OK, Yazzy, what are you going to do about this? You’ve got to do something to find a way to raise money and awareness”—Aga Khan established the Rita Hayworth Gala in New York in 1984. And again, four years later, the Gala was held in Chicago to benefit the Association’s efforts of care, support, and research for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In the three decades to follow, the Gala has raised more than $66 million.
Aga Khan’s journey—the exhausting challenge of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease—is one to which millions of Americans can relate. Alzheimer’s has reached epidemic proportions in this nation, and the numbers laid out in the 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report are startling: 5.3 million Americans are living with the disease, two-thirds of them are women, and that total is projected to rise to 16 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one in the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed. Just as alarming is the financial toll: In 2015, dementia-related diseases will cost the United States $226 billion. “This is now the most expensive disease in America, over cancer and heart disease,” explains Dr. Dean Hartley, Director of Science Initiatives, Medical and Scientific Relations for the Alzheimer’s Association, “because of the number of years people live—somewhere between five and eight years, and it gets more expensive as they progress.” Indeed, it’s estimated that by 2050 that number could rise to $1.1 trillion.
GIVING TIL IT HURTS
The real wake-up call, though, is what Hartley refers to as the “hidden cost” of the disease: The cost of caregiving. He says families caring directly for someone with Alzheimer’s are providing some 17 billion hours of additional support—or the equivalent of $214 billion of unpaid caregiving. “So not only is there an emotional impact for families caring for loved ones,” Hartley explains, “but there’s a huge economic burden that’s only growing, to the point where it’s going to impact our healthcare system.” The emotional impact of caregiving that Hartley mentions can’t be underestimated, says Larry Ruvo, who established the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas—a stunningly curvy stainless steel structure designed by Frank Gehry—after being dismayed by the “terrible, almost nonexistent care my father received when he had the disease, and the even worse care my mother received as a caregiver.” He notes that caregivers are frequently “sleep-deprived, malnourished, stressed, all-too-often forgotten… and often die before the patient.” Then there’s the isolation and loneliness, says Lisa Genova, author of Still Alice, the groundbreaking 2007 Alzheimer’s-themed novel. “There is still so much shame and stigma attached to the disease,” says Genova, “and families affected by AD are often excluded from community, left to care for loved ones alone.”
Caregiving for a family member can be particularly painful, in that the caregiver is often the closest witness as the loved one gradually fades away. A profound sense of loss is a natural response, says Dr. Sam Fazio, the Director of Special Projects in Medical and Scientific Relations for the Alzheimer’s Association and the author of multiple books on Alzheimer’s care. “You have a long-standing relationship with the person you’re caring for now, and you remember how they used to be.” That doesn’t mean there can’t still be moments of connection and joy in that relationship, insists Fazio, whose work is centered around the persistence of self in Alzheimer’s patients. “The biggest thing is living in the moment and going with the flow,” he explains. “So the joy might come in smaller connections, and finding a way to connect on a different level. It may be different from what the person was before, but it is what it is now. That person has a disease and can’t adapt to come into your reality anymore, so you have to adapt and go into their reality. That’s the only way it’ll work. And that’s hard to do.”
As sobering as the state of the disease is, one nugget of hope is that, after decades of being dismissed as “a disease just for old people,” according to Aga Khan, Alzheimer’s awareness is now very much in the mainstream, and the cause is being championed far and wide. From Julianne Moore’s 2015 Best Actress Oscar for the film adaptation of Still Alice to I’ll Be Me, director James Keach’s much-lauded recent documentary about country music icon Glen Campbell’s struggle with the disease, more and more attention is being drawn to Alzheimer’s in popular culture, in large part because so many more people can identify with its consequences. Explaining the success of I’ll Be Me, which, in June, set a CNN Films record for viewership, Keach says, “People saw that it was a tough subject, but it wasn’t going to push people away or create more shame in the game—it was going to create an opportunity for people to relate to what they experience in their own lives or what friends have experienced, [those] caregiving and also suffering with the disease.”
In addition to those films, events such as the Rita Hayworth Gala continue to raise awareness; celebrities like Seth Rogen and Wayne Brady have stepped up to publicly commit to the fight against the disease; and not one but two months are now dedicated to recognizing the cause: June was Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month (which introduced the Twitter hashtag #EndAlzheimers that has been trending ever since), and November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month.
All too often the news about Alzheimer’s has been bleak, but recent research breakthroughs have resulted in, for the frst time, an attitude of cautious optimism among Alzheimer’s researchers. News from the science front has admittedly been dreary as far as Alzheimer’s is concerned, with no effective treatments on the market and just a few FDA-approved drugs available that have had some success in boosting a patient’s memory. “But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing on the horizon,” says Hartley, who cites one recent breakthrough that enables researchers to image the living brain and see problem-causing plaques and tangles that start to develop long before Alzheimer’s is present, as opposed to having to wait for an autopsy. That knowledge can hopefully lead to the ability to recognize who is at the most risk and, ideally, stop the progression of the disease before a person demonstrates symptoms—perhaps with a drug that may already be in trials. “What we’re thinking,” explains Hartley, “is that maybe [some of] those drugs that have failed in clinical trials weren’t inappropriate, they were just being used at the wrong time.”
At the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, director and world-renowned Alzheimer’s researcher Dr. Jeffrey Cummings speaks optimistically about another potential breakthrough that may be at hand involving the use of new immunotherapies for patients with Alzheimer’s. “Immunotherapies involve giving patients antibodies, which then attack the abnormal proteins that are accumulating in the brain,” he explains. “There are two of these treatments that are particularly promising—one from Lilly, one from Biogen.” His dream-world scenario? “The most optimistic forecast would be for the Lilly compound, which should be finished next year and therefore could be available in the market in about three years, if everything went perfectly.”
As patients and their families wait for the discovery of effective treatments, the Alzheimer’s Association is focusing its efforts on disease prevention and brain health with its “10 Ways to Love Your Brain” program, which was unveiled on June 1 in recognition of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and encourages general lifestyle improvements, such as regular cardiovascular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and continuing education. “We never want to give people a recipe of what they can do [that will mean] you’re not going to get Alzheimer’s, because nobody knows that,” says Fazio, who led the development of the program. “But there’s been good research on exercise and on diet, so this new program is really all about aging well. It looks at four pillars: cognitive activity, physical exercise and health, diet and nutrition, and social engagement. It’s basically a healthy-aging program. We’re talking about aging in general versus just brain health, because it’s really about all we do to age well. Brain health is one piece of it. It’s all stuff we should be doing.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Even the experts know that brain health can do only so much without effective treatments for Alzheimer’s on the market. In 2011, President Obama signed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, a plan to find effective treatments by 2025—but, ultimately, the program’s success will depend on dollars. “One of our biggest impediments now is the lack of funding,” says Hartley, noting that cancer and heart disease receive between $4 billion and $6 billion per year in research money, while Alzheimer’s is at just $600 million. In December 2014, Congress took a step toward rectifying that imbalance with the passage of the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act, which gives the National Institutes of Health the opportunity to tell Congress each year how much it needs in funding. “So we’re finding these mechanisms to boost the dollars that we need to accelerate [treatments],” says Hartley, a note of hope in his voice. “That’s how we’ll make that progress.”
Back in Chicago, at the Rita Hayworth Gala, as Princess Yasmin Aga Khan leans in to be heard over the strains of the jazz band, she, too, speaks with cautious optimism, tempered by the awareness that the fight is far from over. “We’re getting close, and I think there’s hope,” she says. “I’m proud that the Alzheimer’s Association is what it is today, and that it has spread the word nationally and internationally. And I’m proud of all the dollars that everyone has raised. But we’re not there yet.”
Tags: philanthropy alzheimer's alzheimer's association november 2015
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan & Carleton Varney to Host Rita Hayworth Luncheon Benefiting the Alzheimer's Association at The Colony Hotel
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan & Carleton Varney to Host Rita Hayworth Luncheon Benefiting the Alzheimer's Association at The Colony Hotel
The Alzheimer's Association, the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research, will be the beneficiary of the Rita Hayworth Luncheon on Friday, March 4, at The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach.
This special fundraising event is being co-hosted by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, the daughter of legendary movie star and dancer Rita Hayworth who passed away from Alzheimer's disease. The other co-host is internationally renowned designer Carleton Varney, who recently completed a $15-million "re-imagining" of The Colony Hotel, a Palm Beach landmark for nearly 70 years.
Once again, the Luncheon will include an exclusive fashion preview by Naeem Khan. Committed to adorning elegant women in clothes befitting their refinement, Khan's glittering fan base of starlets and socialites includes Beyoncé, Pénelope Cruz, Lea Michele, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emily Blunt, Kate Beckinsale, Katy Perry, First Lady Michelle Obama and Queen Noor of Jordan, and his designs have graced the silver screen in fashion film classics like Sex & the City and Dreamgirls.
This year's Rita Hayworth Luncheon in Palm Beach will include a Silent Auction with a variety of hard-to-get luxury items, including tickets to HAMILTON, the hottest show now on Broadway; overnight stays in exclusive resorts and hotels such as The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, The Carlyle in New York, and the Rosewood London; antique furniture and décor handpicked by Palm Beach area merchants including J Gallery, James & Jeffrey Antiques and Hatfield's; and incredible dining experiences such as a chef tasting dinner with wine at Kitchen, the contemporary American Brasserie in West Palm Beach.
The Alzheimer's Association Rita Hayworth events have a long history of dedication to the Alzheimer's cause. The first Rita Hayworth Gala was held in New York in 1984, and the event expanded to include Chicago and Palm Beach. To date, under Aga Khan's leadership, more than $68 million has been raised for the Alzheimer's Association as a result of the Rita Hayworth Gala events.
Tickets to attend the Rita Hayworth Luncheon at The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach are $300 to $500 each and may be reserved by calling 312.604.1680.
Alzheimer’s Association Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala
With spring comes the annual Alzheimer’s Association Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala which attracts hundreds of guests recognizing the breakthroughs and commending developments made when it comes to combatting Alzheimer’s. This year’s theme, “Time Is Of The Essence,” also honors the more than 210,000 Illinois residents and 5 million Americans living with the disease. All of the proceeds raised through the event support the Alzheimer’s Association’s care, care support and research programs. The spring festivities in Chicago include a performance by the CoverGirls violin show and live music by Orchestra 33. Jon Harris of ConAgra Foods will emcee the event, held at the Hilton Chicago.
June D. Barnard, co-chair of the Chicago gala committee says, “Funds raised at the Rita Hayworth Gala to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association provide hope for a future treatments and eventually a cure, and a lifeline for families who need support and guidance as they face this disease today. For people living with Alzheimer’s diseases and their family members, time is truly of essence. Last year’s efforts generated an astounding $1.3 million, thanks to the generosity of individual donors and corporate sponsors.
Under the guidance of Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, who created the Rita Hayworth Galas to pay tribute to her legendary mother Rita, the organization has now raised over $68 million through the galas held in Chicago, New York and Palm Beach. These funds, along with other contributions, help the Alzheimer’s Association work on a global, national and local level to enhance care, raise awareness, advance research and offer support for those affected by the disease.
RITA HAYWORTH, PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA PICTURES.
This year’s Rita Hayworth Award, presented by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, goes to Dr. Lisa Genova for bringing awareness of the disease through her bestselling book, Still Alice. In addition, the Family Philanthropy Award honors the Cantore Family while the Corporate Award is presented to Loren Shook representing Silverado Care.
“We are pleased that there is an Alzheimer’s Association dedicated to directing critical Alzheimer’s research and providing care and support to families, thus hastening the possibility of a cure, treatment, and prevention, while ensuring resources for those impacted are available in our local communities,” said Joan and Paul Rubschlager, presenting sponsors.
The Alzheimer’s Association explains that, “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. Although Alzheimer’s has no current cure, treatments of symptoms are available and research continues. [...] Today, there is a worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, and prevent it from developing.”
In most recent Alzheimer news, The New York Times just presented the story of Geri Taylor and her personal journey and battle with the disease. The article also reports that, “Every 67 seconds, with monotonous cruelty, Alzheimer’s takes up residence in another American. Degenerative and incurable, it is democratic in its reach. People live with it about eight to 10 years on average, though some people last for 20 years.” The Observer also reported that scientists were testing an antibody, “which could slow plaque buildup in the brain, one of the causes of memory loss,” and a possible new treatment in stopping the disease before it even starts.
Help is available. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association is the trusted resource for reliable information, education, referral and support. Don’t hesitate in contacting them for help. Call the 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit their website at ALZ.org
[The New York Rita Hayworth Gala, now in its 33rd edition, will be held Tuesday, October 25 at Cipriani 42nd Street. Last year’s event raised over $2.2 million for the Alzheimer’s Association.]
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan and Duchess of York at Alzheimer’s Gala
by Catherine Sabino
| Haute Scene, News, news
| November 3, 2016
Last week the 33rd annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala was held at Cipriani 42nd Street where Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, founder and 2016 gala general chair, as well as a long-time advocate for raising funds to help find a cure for the disease, welcomed guests who included Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York; fashion designers Nicole Miller and Zang Toi, Sharon Bush, Margo and John Catsimatidis Diandra Douglas Liliana Cavendish, Hilary Dick, Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Anne and Jay McInerney, TV personality and style guru Robert Verdi, Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN Brendan Shanahan (Champion Award recipient), Bill Brand (Rita Hayworth Award recipient), Sarah Rafferty, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, talk show host Wendy Williams and Liliana Cavendish. The evening raised nearly $2 million for critical Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. The disease afflicts more than 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Sarah Rafferty, actress and star of the USA Network legal drama Suits, emceed the event and shared her experiences with her grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. The evening included remarks from Aga Khan (daughter of Rita Hayworth),who announced that with the funds raised at this year’s Rita Hayworth Gala, along with the New York City, Chicago and Palm Beach events, crossed the $70 million mark for to support the Alzheimer’s Association. Aga Khan praised Karyn Kornfeld for her energy and passion as this year’s gala chair before introducing her. Kornfeld shared the story of her “powerhouse” grandmother who died of Alzheimer’s and how her grief quickly turned to guilt, motivating her to take action against the disease by getting involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.
President of HSN and chief marketing officer at HSNi., Bill Brand, was presented with the Rita Hayworth Award and hockey legend and president of the Toronto Maple Leafs Brendan Shanahan was honored with the Champion Award. Brand and Shanahan were cited for their commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s and their many efforts to raise awareness of the disease. Brand was introduced by long-time supporter and friend of the Alzheimer’s Association, Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN. Grossman spoke about Brand ’s commitment to helping fight the disease and for charity through HSNi Cares. In his remarks Brand shared that HSN has just surpassed the $1 million mark in funds raised for the Alzheimer’s Association during their five-year partnership with the organization.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman introduced Shanahan before a video tribute to the hockey legend was shown, which chronicled Shanahan’s life and close relationship with his father, Donal Shanahan, whom he lost to Alzheimer’s while in the early stages of his hockey career. The video included footage from Shanahan’s 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame speech, which was dedicated to his father. Shanahan recalled his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s and spoke about how there must be a greater conversation about the disease. Shanahan recognized the sports community for their support of the cause and presence that evening, including the NHL, NBA and NFL.
Hugh Hildesley, the Vice Chairman of Sotheby’s, hosted the evening’s live auction which included a custom Domingo Zapata painting as well as a suit from UK bespoke tailor Huntsman. The suit, which features a lining with the design from Ed Ruscha’s 1987 painting ‘Boy Meets Girl,” is one of six created in the collaboration and was the only one available for purchase, generating a top bid of $26,000.
For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association to alzgla.org
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