Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hope Is On the Horizon

Fall foliage as seen from the first tee at Fairview Country Club in Greenwich, CT. 5:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017. Cooler, yesterday in New York, after Sunday’s day and night of often heavy rains. Sometimes sunny, and dry, with temperatures in the high 50s, dropping to the mid-40s by night. 

First Things First. This past Friday, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation held its 8th annual Fall Symposium & Luncheon at the Pierre. “Hope Is On the Horizon” was the theme. Founded in 1998 by Ronald Lauder and Leonard Lauder (Leonard credits his brother for the idea), the brothers  who are separately major philanthropists in New York, fund the administration of the foundation personally so that every dime of funds raised goes directly to research.
Ronald S. Lauder, Sharon Sager, Leonard A. Lauder, Alice Shure, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, and Paula Zahn
This year’s event was the most successful ever with 400 guests attending and raising more than $1.2 million for the cause. I went to the first one out of responsibility to the cause. I might have left it with that except the subject — which applies to all of us now — is interesting because the Lauders have convinced me (at these events) that they are going to find a solution, a drug that can cure and most possibly prevent the onset of this terrible disease that only goes one way to whomever is afflicted with it.

This year I wasn’t surprised but again, amazed at the positive results being achieved. Paula Zahn, the beautiful and talented television reporter/personality, opened the lunch hour once we were all seated with these words:  “Hope is what we are here to talk about. Hope for the 47 million people across the globe with Alzheimer’s.” (Paula’s mother is one of them). Paula introduced ADDF co-Founder and co-Chairman Ronald Lauder.
Thia Breen, Paula Zahn, and Laurie Dowley
Mr. Lauder shared that promising new drugs for Alzheimer’s have reached clinical trials and are now being tested with patients who need them, thanks to the ADDF and its donors. He added: “It takes millions of dollars to do this work. And we are going to do more. To win a race, you don’t slow down when you see the finish line. You push harder.”

During the Luncheon, Leonard A. Lauder joined his brother to present the Charles Evans Award to Sharon Sager, Managing Director, Wealth Management and Private Wealth Advisor at UBS, for her support of Alzheimer’s research. Ms. Sager spoke frankly and bravely about her own family’s experience with Alzheimer’s. She also described the affect it is having on the financial industry, as more people plan for a potential diagnosis. But, she added, “I am optimistic that, one day soon, families and their advisors won't have to plan for an Alzheimer's diagnosis."
Sharon Sager and Loring Swasey Judy Glickman Lauder and Michal Grayevsky
The Symposium before the luncheon was led by the ADDF’s Executive Director Dr. Howard Fillit, and featured researchers who have all reached clinical trials after many years spent developing their drugs. The three distinguished panelists were Leen Kawas from M3 Biotechnology, Jerri Rook of Vanderbilt University, and Mark Gurney of Tetra Discovery Partners — have all received critical funding from the ADDF for their drug research.

Among the guests: Renée and Robert Belfer, Thia Breene and Laurie Dowley, Nancy Corzine, Joyce B. Cowin, Charles M. Diker, Joel Ehrenkranz, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Mary-Ann Freda, Paul Fribourg, Stephanie Ginsberg, Roslyn Goldstein, Nancy Goodes, Michal Grayevsky, Jane Hertzmark Hudis, Raymond and Veronica Kelly, Deborah Krulewitch, Judy Glickman Lauder, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, Laurence Leeds, Jr., Tom and Heidi McWilliams, Sheila Johnson Robbins, Maria Savettiere, Frances G. Scaife, George Schiele, Alice Shure, Loring Swasey, Isaiah Thomas, Adrienne and Gigi Vittadini, and Stanford Warshawsky.
Laura Rowan and Phebe Farrow Port Paula Zahn and Dr. Howard Fillit
Everyone who made a donation during the luncheon was eligible to win one of a range of gifts provided by the ADDF’s generous supporters, including The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., the New York City Ballet, The St. Regis New York, The Hermitage Club, Anya Hindmarch, La Grenouille, Hamilton Farm Golf Club, and The Spa at the Peninsula Hotel.

It was one of those afternoons where you were led to think about your life, your world, and the lives and world around you. For me it was another one of those moments when it was clear how we individuals really do have the ability to solve our problems and look after our well-being; the idea of a better world.
Raymond Kelly and Veronica Kelly with Leonard A. Lauder and Judy Glickman Lauder
We live in a world fraught with the apparent inability or lack of empathy to solve our problems and improve our lots. Yet the ADDF, a group of men and women dedicated, even hell-bent on solving this problem, demonstrate that we are always capable. That’s the actual investment of the Lauder brothers and their many supporters. An investment to benefit all of us.

To learn more, visit http://www.alzdiscovery.org.
Wendy Wilshin, Stephanie Ginsberg, and Tracey Bilski
Nancy Corzine Bonnie Pfeifer Evans Nancy Goodes
Lizzie DeCarlo, Eic Wittenberg, Susan Wirshba, and Wendy Holmes
Sheila Johnson Robbins
Isaiah Thomas and Chris Johnson
Leonard A. Lauder and Mary Ann Freda
Liz Peek, Adrienne Vittadini, and Jane Hudis
Leen Kawas, PhD, Mark Gurney, PhD, and Jerri Rook Heidi McWilliams
Ronald S. Lauder and Raymond Kelly
Dr. Howard Fillit, Caroline Weiner, and Mark Roithmayr Dr. Karen Burke and Sydney PIcasso
Susan Gutfreund
George and Joan Schiele
Young and Ghoulish; it’s just the day to be ... Ahh, Halloween. I do remember the thrill as a kid. Not so much the costumes but the Hershey bars and Milky Ways and all the other candies that filled our bags as we went around the neighborhood after dark, in clusters of kids 8, 9, 10, 12 (the last year of being a kid) in weather not unlike today’s. This was treasure!

It wasn’t until I lived in New York that I began to see people go all out witty and clever — as adults — with fantastic costumes, and even decorating the exteriors of their houses for the day.
The haunted house on 72nd Street.
JH was out there with his camera yesterday catching a few shots of houses decorated for the day on the Upper East Side. He reports that there were actually fewer houses in full regalia this year. However, there is one, on East 72nd Street between Madison and Park (on the north side of the street (you can’t miss it). It’s a late 19th century brownstone mansion that several years ago was completely renovated, and, I am told — never having seen — that it was returned to its authentic décor of the era. The Halloween festooning might just allude to that fact, because it is a great sight just for the visuals and the setting they surround. And you can see ...
More haunted houses in the nabe ...

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