Memories that Matter

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Sylvia Hemingway, Ivan Fischer, Libby Pataki, Vera Blinken, Ambassador Donald Blinken, Daisy Soros, and Governor George Pataki at the Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra's annual gala at Carnegie Hall.

On Tuesday, April 9, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) celebrated its second annual Memories Matter benefit event at Chelsea Piers. The event was hosted by Emmy Award-winning NBC-4 Weather Anchor, Dave Price who welcomed over 550 guests.  

The ADDF, the only charity devoted solely to finding new drugs for Alzheimer’s, raised over 1 million at Memories Matter. The event was founded by ADDF Board members Wendy Wilshin and Stephanie Ginsberg.  During their welcoming remarks, Ms. Ginsberg said: “Thanks to the work of ADDF treatment is closer than ever before, which encourages us and drives us to raise awareness and funds to support research through the ADDF.”

Founding Event Chairs Ronald Dickerman and Wendy Wilshin and Stephanie, and Ian Ginsberg.

Several other speakers shared their own experience with Alzheimer’s disease during the program. Michelle Florin, in her twenties, paid a heartfelt tribute to her mother, Jacki Florin, who developed Early Onset Alzheimer’s at age 54. Michelle said, “I used to believe that Alzheimer’s was literally pronounced ‘old-timers.’ I thought that losing your memory was a normal part of aging – that one day, everyone would get ‘old-timers.’ The truth is, Alzheimer’s does not just affect old people, and losing your memory is not a normal part of aging.” 

Country music singer and composer Ashley Campbell performed several songs including her major-label debut single Remembering, which she wrote about her father Glen Campbell’s battle with Alzheimer’s and the consequences of the illness on their entire family. Ashley and her mother Kim Campbell are tireless advocates for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Ashley Campbell.

ADDF Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer Dr. Howard Fillit explained increasing age is the leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects 5 million people in the United States and about 50 million globally. “We are very excited by the momentum right now in Alzheimer’s research. Today, thanks in part to the work of ADDF, we have FDA-approved diagnostic tests, over 100 drugs in clinical trials, and much more knowledge about how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”

ADDF recently announced a new research initiative as part of its Diagnostics Accelerator with expanded funding from Bill Gates and Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos to fast-track the development of new diagnostic tools, such as blood tests and digital mobile phone apps, for the early detection of Alzheimer’s. 

Guests enjoyed a live and silent auction of fantastic items, led by Howie Schwartz. Items ranged from a luxury yacht charter on the Enterprise, an 86’ Sunseeker, two tickets to STOMP, two tickets to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, two tickets to Network and a meet & greet with Bryan Cranston, two tickets to Billy Joel at MSG, NFL Meet and Greet for two, golf foursome at The Bridge Golf Course in Bridgehampton, NY, and a two-night stay at The 1 Hotel South Beach.

L. to r.: Dr. Howard Fillit and Susan Kind; Jake McGuffog.

The evening featured gorgeous décor courtesy of Lawrence Scott Events. Additional guests included founding chairs Ian Ginsberg and Ronald Dickerman; Co-Chairs Hope and Marc Altheim, Cindy and Glen Edelman, Elizabeth and Paul Greenbaum, Sheri and Seth Leist, Andrea and Jeffrey Lomasky, Roni and Charles McGuffog, Karen and Marc Spector, and Cindy and Laurence Tell; Host Committee members Michelle Romanoff Cohen, Joel Florin, Terri Kahan, Carla and Rob Karen, Lori and Jimmy Krantz, Amelia and Steven Paston, Lisa Ritter-Kahn, Jamie Seidner and Jonathan Rubin; and ADDF Board members Charlie Cangro, Nancy Goodes, Chris Johnson, Sharon Sager, Randall Sandler, Tom Scanlan and Steve Toma.

Founded in 1998 by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. The ADDF is the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academia and the biotech industry. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded over $115 million to fund more than 590 Alzheimer’s drug discovery programs and clinical trials in 18 countries. And 100% of every donation funds drug research programs.

To learn more, visit

L. to r.: Nancy Goodes; Terri Kahan; Chris Johnson.
Dave Price.
L. to r.: Mark Roithmayr and Steve Toma; Marc and Hope Altheim.
Aileen Schruth and Sharon Sager.
Randall and Maggie Sandler.
L. to r.: Charles and Roni McGuffog; Chris Leavitt and Laura Landro.
Alec Ginsberg, Lisa Ritter-Kahn, and Reed Ginsberg.
Adrienne Barlia and Michelle Florin.
L. to r.: Brenda Jablonski and Tom Scanlan; Amanda Diamond and Emma Caldicott
Deborah Krulewitch and Myra Biblowit.
Anne Rappa and Lisa Somar.

Two Saturday’s ago on April 6th, The Friends of the Budapest Festival Orchestra held their annual gala at Carnegie Hall last Saturday evening.  Ambassador and Mrs. Donald Blinken, Renée Fleming, and Governor and Mrs. George Pataki were the honorary chairs.  The evening began with cocktails and a dinner in the Weill Music Room.

Maestro Iván Fischer made a dramatic entrance direct from a rehearsal and warmly greeting his old friend and chairman emeritus, Daisy Soros. At dinner, chairman Stephen Benko said, “We have so much to celebrate here. A return to Carnegie Hall is always special. Tonight will be stunning,” followed by a warm and effusive Maestro Fisher, “I would like to hug everybody in this room. It is wonderful to be among our American friends. All of you should be mentioned tonight…”

The Budapest Festival Orchestra performing at Carnegie Hall at their annual gala.

The evening’s co-chairs were Sylvia Hemingway, Heidi-Lee-Komaromi, Christine Schott Ledes, Laine Siklos, and Stephanie Stokes.

Guests included: Susan Bender, Layla Diba, Martin Hoffman, Sylvia Hemingway, Noémi and Michael Neidorff, Alexandra Nicklas, Reni Rothschild, Sana Sabbagh, Donald and Barbara Tober, Suzanne Vega and Paul L. Mills, and Victoria Wyman.

The evening began with cocktails and a dinner in the Weill Music Room.
Ivan Fischer.

The evening’s gala committee included: Ambassador Colleen Bell, Susan Bender, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Buckfire, Aaron Feinstein, Andrew Komaromi, Mr. and Mrs. John Merey, Peter Thomas Roth, Emese Tardy-Green, and David Tobey.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra will return to New York August 4th for the Mostly Mozart Festival.  Friends will be invited to the annual private Hamptons Summer Chamber Concert.  The Orchestra will also perform at the Hollywood Bowl July 30, August 1st and 6th.

Dr. John Merey, Alec Merey, and Marvin Hoffmann.
Stephanie Stokes and Van Kirk Reeves.
Paul Mills and Suzanne Vega.
L. to r.: Alexandra Nicklas and Sylvia Hemingway; Governor George Pataki and Libby Pataki.
Laine Siklos and Heidi-Lee Komaromi.
Edgar Batista and Margo Langenberg.
Andre Shoop and Carla Hunter.
Governor George Pataki, Heidi Lee-Komaromi, and Andrew Komaromi.
Sylvia Hemingway, Antónia Bodó, Nurit Kahane Kasse, and Stephen E. Benko.
Richard Gaddes, Noémi Neidorff, and Ivan Fischer.

Out on the left coast in San Francisco, the prestigious Designers & Artisans Circle of the San Francisco Fall Show benefiting Enterprise for Youth was honored by Kohler at their newly opened Design District showroom, followed by alfresco cocktails at Skool.

Suzanne Tucker and Margaret Powers.
Janelle Baldock and Jamie Sanck.
L. to r.: Dina Bandman; Gina Callan and Chip Zecher.
Tim Marks, Suzanne Tucker, Katy Polsby, and David Nash.
L. to r.: Kaycee McNeff and Doug Cleveland; Suzanne Tucker and Tim Marks.
Rihaun Carrell and Landen Polterock.
L. to r.: David Nash, Katy Polsby; Sarah Puls and Kathleen Navarra.
Margaret Powers and Kaycee McNeff.
L. to r.: Jamie Sanck and Steven Stolman; Heather Sawtelle and Sarah Lynch.
Margan Mulvihill and Helen Lee.
Kathy Geissler Best, Kay Evans, Suzanne Tucker, and Tim Marks.
Kohler Chocolates.

On Sunday, March 31st, The Shed held its Founders Dinner at the new NYC arts center. M&T Bank has been named the Founding Bank of The Shed, and along with its subsidiary, the wealth management firm Wilmington Trust, has become a multi-year partner providing major ongoing support for The Shed’s live performance commissions.

Support of The Shed is representative of M&T’s long-standing commitment to culture and the arts, as the arts are a driving force for both M&T Bank and Wilmington Trust in managing wealth and structuring charitable support for their clients and for giving back to the communities the banks serve.

Founders Dinner guests Included Wilmington Trust Executive Vice President and Head of Wealth and Institutional Services Doris Meister, M&T Bank Executive Vice President, Consumer Banking, Small Business Banking and Marketing Chris Kay, M&T Bank Executive Vice President Gino Martocci and M&T Bank Area Executive Peter D’Arcy among others. 

M&T Bank is the presenting sponsor of New Jersey Performing Arts Center Dance Series, presenter of free First Fridays at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, sponsor of Long Island Winterfest and a foundational supporter of many other cultural events and institutions across its communities.

Peter D’Arcy, Alex Poots, Gino Martocci, Doris Meister, and Michael Bloomberg.
Liz Diller, Doris Meister, Gil Meister, and David Walentas.
Richard Armstrong, Doris Meister, and Gil Meister.
Stacey D’Arcy, Diana Martocci, and Peter D’Arcy.

Photographs by Patrick McMullan (ADDF); Annie Watt (Budapest);  Drew Altizer Photography (Kohler); Benjamin Lozovsky/ (The Shed)

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