Thursday, November 9, 2022. Much cooler yesterday in New York with temps starting out the day in the mid-40s reaching up to 51 degrees midday. That’s more like it for November although this past few days in the 70s were great!
The Social Calendar is back in business in typical intensity. There are at least a couple of events daily, many of which are fund-raisers for major social and/or medical projects.
A major medical/philanthropic event was last Thursday when the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) celebrated philanthropic partners moving Alzheimer’s research closer to a cure at its 13th Annual Fall Symposium and Luncheon at the newly re-designed main ballroom of the Hotel Pierre.
They honored Carol Boulanger and the National Football League Players Association who were recognized for their efforts to support the ADDF’s mission to develop drugs to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
The luncheon began with the presentation of the Charles Evans Award to Ms. Boulanger for her distinguished leadership as a member of the ADDF’s Board of Overseers and advocacy for the foundation since its inception nearly 25 years ago.
The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) was also honored with the inaugural Visionary Partner Award, which was accepted by DeMaurice Fitzgerald Smith, Executive Director at the NFLPA.
The NFLPA was honored for its role in the coalition of prominent philanthropists supporting the ADDF’s Diagnostic Accelerator, a global research initiative dedicated to accelerating the development of affordable and accessible biomarkers to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and advance the clinical development of more targeted treatments.
The new award will be granted each year to an outstanding partner who has helped to advance the ADDF’s mission.
This luncheon was a record attendance — more than 300. The event raised $1.2 million, 100% of which will go to support promising science.
I’ve been attending ADDF events since it began hosting fund-raising dinners in one of the galleries at Sotheby’s. They were elegantly presented, with forty or fifty guests, and came with a report of the progress by the research they were funding.
All funds raised go to research. Paula Zahn who was “emcee” last Thursday has been since the beginning. The guestlist was almost entirely potential donors, maybe forty or fifty potential donors. The two brothers assumed the expense of the organization.
I was fascinated by their certainty of purpose. When I first heard they had partnered to “find a drug to cure Alzheimers” I had a feeling they would succeed. That feeling continues.
Years ago, I’d met their mother who was then in her later years. We were seated near each other at an event in someone’s house out in Southampton. She was naturally sociable and warm, a tycoon who became quite naturally a grande dame. I couldn’t think of anything to say to her except to ask questions. But she engaged me in conversation, naturally friendly (and naturally gracious).
In retrospect, I see that she was a legend in her own long lifetime. In that conversation, I was reminded of a legendary story about her as the young woman who had created a fragrance and took on the marketing personally.
It was said that in the early days she carried it around and walking along to her destination, she would often spray it near people passing by on the sidewalks, and sometimes share a sample. This is all legend naturally but that personal marketing of Mother began a revenue stream now running annually in the billions. Her sons have respected their mother with professional reputations and with their individual philanthropy, and are equipped with their mother’s certainty of purposes. That may be what inspires me to take for granted they are going to succeed in their objective.
Notable guests included Joel Ehrenkranz, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Nancy Goodes, Judy and Leonard A. Lauder, Laura and Gary Lauder, Josh Lauder, William Lauder, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Marsha and Henry Laufer, Larry Leeds, Randal Sandler, Sean Sansiveri, Alice Shure, Daisy Soros, Iris Apfel.
Preceding the luncheon, Dr. Howard Fillit, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of the ADDF, moderated a scientific symposium on novel Alzheimer’s therapeutics in clinical development featuring Gary Gibson, PhD, Professor at the Brain Mind Research Institute at Weill Cornell Medical College and a member of the Institute’s graduate program and Lisa Ricciardi, Chief Executive Officer and President of Cognition Therapeutics.