S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Hosts “Life Without Lupus Gala® 2011: A Night at the Museum”
Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and activist Carole King Performed
(November 21, 2011 – New York, NY) – More than 700 members of New York City’s philanthropic, business and health care communities joined forces tonight as the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation hosted “Life Without Lupus® Gala 2011: A Night at the Museum” at The American Museum of Natural History. This year’s black tie gala, co-hosted by Willie Geist, Co-Host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and Alex Wagner, anchor of MSNBC’s Now With Alex Wagner, heralded the organization’s quantum leap taking place in lupus research and raised over $2 million.
Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and activist Carole King performed a “tapestry” of her songs honoring all people living with lupus, including “You’ve Got a Friend.” Carole brought down the house with ad-lib lyrics to one of her most famous songs: “And everyone who came tonight, you know we can do it. We can find a cure for lupus. You’ve got a friend.”
U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg and Mrs. Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg were honored for helping to make lupus a national priority. Daniel J. Wallace (MD, FACP, FACR), founder of Lupus LA, was presented with the Foundation’s Medical Leadership Award for his contributions to lupus clinical research. Lupus is a devastating autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million Americans, 90 percent of whom are women — with a two to three times greater risk among women of color.
Margaret G. Dowd, Executive Director of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, said, “Tonight, we gather with a shared goal — to help create a Life Without Lupus. We would not be here tonight without the generosity of all of our tireless supporters, especially our honorees — Senator Lautenberg, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg and Dr. Wallace — who have made a significant commitment to the fight against lupus. We are also so delighted to have Carole King here with us tonight, whose support and songs will touch so many of us who have been affected in some way by this tragic disease.”
Recognizing Gala 2011 honorees Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo said, “We are saluting an extraordinary couple, each bringing their individual strengths to fight lupus on a personal and public level. Committed to many meaningful causes, Bonnie and Frank have made America a safer and healthier place, for people with lupus and for us all.”
“Government involvement induces private sector participants to get engaged,” said Senator Lautenberg. “Most notably, pharmaceutical companies begin to put their resources towards developing new drugs and universities pursue grants from organizations like the Lupus Research Institute more aggressively.”
Dr. Wallace was presented the Foundation’s Medical Leadership Award for his cutting-edge work in clinical trials; for providing critical support programs to thousands of lupus patients in California through Lupus LA — the West Coast arm of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation; and for raising money for the Lupus Research Institute’s grants that support the highest caliber of fundamental lupus research in academic institutions throughout the country. Serving as Honorary Dinner Chair, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg commented, “The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation is leading the search for a cure of an unpredictable disease that is hard to measure, hard to treat, hard to cope with and easy to overlook. But it affects 1.5 million Americans, including tens of thousands of New Yorkers. And while we lead the nation in research, education and care the fight against lupus is far from over. We need to continue to attract top-tier scientists from all over the world to search for a cure."
This year’s Dinner Chairs were Jennie & Richard DeScherer; Morrie Golick; Susan Golick & Alan Wasserman; Phyllis & William Mack; Fern & Lenard Tessler; Carol & Michael Weisman; and Lois & Andrew Zaro.
Governor Mario Cuomo and Mrs. Matilda Cuomo, Sir Deryck and Lady Va Maughan, Peter and Leni May, and Jessye Norman were among the many New York notables attending.
A live auction conducted by Jamie Niven, renowned auctioneer of Sotheby’s, allowed participants to support cutting-edge studies at world-renowned institutions as well as a week at Camp Sunshine for children with lupus and emergency care for families in need.
On November 27th, the event was featured in the New York Times' Evening Hours column.