2006 Life Without Lupus Gala
This year's S.L.E. Lupus Foundation "Life Without Lupus" Gala raised more than $2.8 million—a national record for funds collected at a single event to nurture research, support education, and provide services for people with lupus, a chronic and often devastating autoimmune disease. More than 750 supporters attended the December 4th gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York's Times Square.
Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Bob Costas, kicked off the spirited event with characteristic style. "In my television work," he said, "I've learned a little about teams . . . and how winning only really comes through dedication and team work. Coming out on top with lupus is a lot like that."
"All the links to the cure," he added, "are in this room tonight—friends and families, doctors and scientists, industry and government. Each plays a vital role. And when this team comes together, it's one powerful force."
The evening's program included an appearance by famed opera soprano Jessye Norman, who introduced a riveting video on lupus (click here to view), and a mesmerizing special performance by Broadway legend Barbara Cook.
The gala honored James D. Robinson III, chairman of the board of the pharmaceutical powerhouse Bristol-Myers Squibb, for his role at the helm of the company in its recent push to address areas of "significant unmet need" such as lupus. BMS is currently testing a drug designed to treat and prevent active lupus flares.
The 2006 Scientific Honoree is Mark Shlomchik, MD, PhD, of Yale University School of Medicine, whose scientific leadership has been vital to the remarkable success of the Foundation's innovative national research partner—the Lupus Research Institute.
"The Foundation would like to extend a big 'Thank You' to the entire lupus team who came together to make the 2006 Gala such a terrific success," said Executive Director, Margaret Dowd. "Together, we will surely realize our goal of a life without lupus."