|On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering hosted its annual Spring Ball at The Plaza Hotel. This signature event paid tribute to the volunteer organization’s 70th Anniversary, a key milestone in The Society’s rich history of supporting important patient care and research programs at Memorial Sloan Kettering. With 400 guests enjoying the spring-inspired ballroom by Ron Wendt Design, the glamorous evening featured cocktails, dinner and dancing to DJ Alexandra Richards as well as a special surprise performance by iconic 70’s musical group, Sister Sledge. The event co-chairs were Kate Allen, Liz Gardiner and Heather Leeds.|
|To commemorate the 70th Anniversary, the Spring Ball featured the presentation of the first ever The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering Prize to Richard J. O’Reilly, MD, Chairman of the MSK Department of Pediatrics and Director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program. Presented by the President of The Society, Lavinia Branca Snyder, the Prize was established to recognize an individual who has made significant or groundbreaking contributions to the field of pediatric oncology. Dr. O’Reilly was selected based on his transformative research accomplishments over the past 40 years and his extraordinary service to MSK’s pediatric patients and families.|
|The Society has a longstanding commitment to MSK Pediatrics, for which it has raised funds for research since 1946. Moving forward, The Society of MSK Prize will be awarded annually and is intended to increase awareness of multidisciplinary cooperation, leadership, and research in the area of pediatric cancer on a global scale. Overall, the evening raised over $1.3 million.
Notable attendees included: Katie Couric, Brandon Stanton, Liz Lange, Arie & Coco Kopelman, Jeff & Caryn Zucker, Wilbur & Hilary Ross, Earle & Carol Mack, Shoshanna Gruss, Colin & Rebekah McCabe, James & Gina de Givenchy, Craig Thompson, Paul & Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Sandy Warner, Lavinia Branca Snyder, Judy Gordon Cox, Peter & Jamee Gregory, Richard & Kamie Lightburn, Philip & Julie Geier, Roman & Helena Martinez, Baird Ryan & Alexia Hamm Ryan, Stephen & Christine Schwarzman and many more!
|The 9th annual Gray Matters at Columbia Spring Benefit Luncheon was held at The Plaza Hotel on Tuesday, May 10, and honored Audrey Gruss, Founder and Chair of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF). Mistress of Ceremonies Donna Hanover welcomed the more than 400 luncheon guests who raised a remarkable $610,000.
The theme of this year’s luncheon was depression, one of the leading causes of disability and mortality in the world. Under Ms. Gruss’ extraordinary leadership, the HDRF provides funding for research into the cause, diagnosis and treatment of depression and other mood disorders. The motivation and inspiration for her efforts was her own mother’s struggle with depression.
|The luncheon program included a panel discussion of cutting edge research on depression by Columbia Psychiatry scientists Joshua A. Gordon, MD, PhD, René Hen, PhD, Jonathan Javitch, MD, PhD, and Steven P. Roose, MD.
“Depression is a uniquely human illness that robs people of their capacity to enjoy life and and be productive,” said moderator Dr. Steven Roose. “Our current treatments are lifesaving, but are not panaceas. They don’t work for everyone and have side effects. A much deeper and comprehensive understanding of brain function is needed in order to swiftly develop promising effective new therapies and bring precision medicine to psychiatry. Columbia Psychiatry is dedicated to this goal.”
|Dr. Réne Hen added that it is “our ability to attract and retain the young superstars in this field that keeps Columbia Psychiatry ranked #1 in research and clinical care.”
Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, noted, “Research is the key to alleviating the suffering caused by mental disorders, one of which 25% of the population will suffer from in their lifetime. The limited federal funding provided for mental illness research makes philanthropic support from families and committed citizens critical to rapidly advance our knowledge and produce better treatments.”
|The Annual GMAC event is made possible by the extraordinary efforts of a dedicated group of family members and advocates for persons with mental illness. Funds raised by the luncheon support young scientists pursuing brain research to help solve the mystery of behavioral brain disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and autism. The chosen recipients benefit from the multidisciplinary expertise of a peerless team of clinicians and scientists that includes two Nobel laureates.
The 2016-17 Gray Matters Fellows are Guarav Patel, MD, PhD (schizophrenia), Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele (autism and schizophrenia), MD, Aimee Campbell, PhD, MSSW (substance abuse), and Bret Rutherford, MD (aging brain and depression)
Past honorees at the Spring Benefit Luncheon include Glenn Close, Andrew Solomon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Paula Zahn, Anne Ford and Jane Pauley.
|The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), a non-profit organization that advocates, trains and collaborates with global partners to protect children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, held the 2016 Gala for Child Protection: Building Safer Childhoods on Thursday, May 5th at Gotham Hall in New York City.
The second annual gala honored Eli and Edye Broad and Motorola Solutions Foundation for their extraordinary efforts to make a significant impact on the lives of children worldwide. Chairman of Diageo plc and former Chairman of Roche Holding Ltd, Dr. Franz Humer, chaired the night’s festivities. Internationally celebrated American artists and 2015 Honorees Jeff and Justine Koons served as Honorary Co-Chairs. ABC News Nightline co-anchor Juju Chang served as host. Former contestant on NBC’s The Voice, Matthew Schuler, performed the songs “Cough Syrup,” “I’ll Be There” and “Hallelujah” for the nearly 260 guests in attendance. The event raised more than $1.6 million for ICMEC’s Global Impact Fund.
|"Sixteen years ago, ICMEC decided they were going to change the world! And, we are,” said Ambassador Maura Harty, the President and CEO of ICMEC. “We have responded to compelling child protection needs with research, advocacy, training – and the creation of an ever-widening circle of people who share our goal to make safer childhoods for all children because one child harmed is one too many."
Eli and Edye Broad received ICMEC’s Champion for Children Award. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has supported ICMEC for more than a decade. Eli and Edye Broad are dedicated philanthropists whose generosity and support have significantly impacted ICMEC’s work through The Koons Family Institute of International Law & Policy, the organization’s research arm. Most recently, through supporting the redesign of ICMEC’s website, the Broads have enabled ICMEC to transform the way it provides critical information to international partners on child abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation.
|The Motorola Solutions Foundation (MSF) received the Global Impact for Child Protection Award. Manuel Cuevas-Trisan accepted the award. Since 2010, MSF has partnered with ICMEC to enhance law enforcement and non-governmental organization responses to reports of missing and abducted children.
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children is a private 501(c)(3) non-governmental, nonprofit organization. For more than 15 years, ICMEC has been a leader in identifying gaps in the global community's ability to protect children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, and expertly assembling the people, resources and tools needed to fill those gaps. ICMEC focuses on programs that directly impact the issues surrounding missing children, child abduction, child sexual abuse and exploitation.
|Photographs by BFA (MSK); Eve Vagg and Michael DiVito (Gray Matters)|