Category Archives: Lupus Research Alliance

Lupus Research Alliance Welcomes Steve Burke, Selena Gomez, Seth Meyers and Kelli O’Hara to the 2017 Breaking through Lupus Gala

Raises Over $3.2 Million for Lupus Research

November 21, 2017 – New York, NY – The Lupus Research Alliance celebrated the 2017 Breaking through Lupus Gala to shed a spotlight on breakthroughs from the previous years, and the importance of lupus research to deliver discoveries to come. With the generous support of nearly 700 attendees, the landmark event raised over $3.2 million – with every dollar going directly to fund lupus research programs.

Major supporter, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke was recognized for his strong dedication to corporate responsibility and innovation.  The 2017 Gala honoree commented, “NBCUniversal is honored to support those affected by lupus worldwide with a contribution of $1 million to fund the best in scientific study through the Lupus Research Alliance.”

One of the most influential performers worldwide, Selena Gomez joined the Lupus Research Alliance celebration to share her story for the first time directly with the lupus community and the organization she generously supports. Ms. Gomez flew straight to the Gala from her triumphant return to the stage at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles the previous evening.

“I am supporting the Lupus Research Alliance because they are getting results, and that’s what gives people with lupus the most hope,” said Ms. Gomez.  “I’d like to see the day when all young women can realize their dreams of a life without lupus.”

Ms. Gomez and The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Lupus Research Alliance Gala, the largest single lupus fundraiser in the world.

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NBCUniversal held a starring role for the night with several of Mr. Burke’s colleagues serving as Gala co-chairs: Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation; Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal and Lorne Michaels, Creator and Executive Producer, Saturday Night Live. In addition, Seth Meyers, host of NBC-TV Late Night, emceed, delighting guests with his signature sharp humor. Lupus Research Alliance Co-Chairmen Ira Akselrad, President, The Johnson Company and Richard K. DeScherer, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Bloomberg L.P. also co-hosted the evening.

The Gala also honored Lupus Research Alliance Immediate Past Co-President and Co-CEO Margaret G. Dowd for over 20 years of impassioned dedication to advancing lupus research.  Mr. DeScherer noted, “Peggy was one of America’s pioneers in novel lupus research, not as a scientist but as an inspirational spark, fostering talent and embracing innovation.”

Having just earned rave reviews as the lead in Brigadoon, Tony-award winning Kelli O’Hara brought new life to such Broadway favorites as I Could Have Danced All Night and I Have Dreamed.  She noted a personal connection to lupus and sang You’ll Never Walk Alone as a reminder that working together, “you’re never alone”.

Adding to the excitement, New York’s iconic Empire State Building lit up purple and red to help the Lupus Research Alliance raise awareness of the disease and the importance of scientific research. 

About Lupus

Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of people with lupus are women, most of whom are diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.

About the Lupus Research Alliance

The Lupus Research Alliance is transforming the lives of people affected with lupus by financing the most innovative lupus research in the world. The organization’s stringent peer review grant process fosters diverse scientific talent who are driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus.  Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors fund all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.

Click here to learn more about how the Lupus Research Alliance is breaking through with the innovative research necessary to improve treatment while driving to a cure.

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2017 Lupus Handbag Luncheon Supports Science with Style

NEW YORK, NY – April 4, 2017. Nearly 300 prominent women and men from New York’s fashion, society, entertainment, publishing, philanthropic and lupus communities came together today to raise funds for lupus research. The 8th annual Lupus Handbag Luncheon & Silent Auction was the first hosted by the Lupus Research Alliance, formed by the recent merger of the Alliance for Lupus Research, Lupus Research Institute and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation.

Women of Achievement Saluted

The 2017 Women of Achievement were: Claudia Cividino, Chief Executive Officer, Bally Americas and Alison Lee, Lupus Warrior, Cancer Survivor and long-time Lupus Advocate and Volunteer. Both honorees have worked with the organization for years in the fight against lupus.

“I knew that accepting the Woman of Achievement award meant that today, April 4, 2017, would become a red-letter day in my life as the moment I shared that I am not an empathetic bystander, but an active participant in this cause as a woman living with lupus myself,” commented Ms. Cividino. “The disease has never defined me but rather, has informed how I lead my life.”

“I also hid my lupus as if it was a shameful secret,” Ms. Lee shared.  “I never wanted to be known as ‘the sick girl’. But when I found this organization, I met other young women with lupus and realized I wasn’t alone, and have no reason to hide. The Lupus Research Alliance is a beacon of hope amid the health battles I face.”

Founder of the fashion and retail services consultancy firm Abrams Global, Andrea Abrams chaired the luncheon, enlisting industry colleagues to donate numerous luxury handbags. Honorary luncheon co-chairs include: Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Former First Lady of New York State, Founder and Chair of Mentoring USA; Jessye Norman, international opera legend and long-time voice for lupus worldwide; and Brett Heyman 2015 luncheon honoree and founder of the fashion company Edie Parker.


NY’s Leaders Turn Out for Lupus

Many members of the Lupus Research Alliance leadership were actively involved in planning the luncheon including Jennie and Richard DeScherer, Fern Kaye Tessler, Carol Weisman and Teri Wilford Wood.  Noted philanthropists and socialites in attendance included Felice Axelrod, Arlyn Gardner and Joan Sarnoff.

Fashion Luminaries Put Lupus Cure in the Bag

The fashion industry was out in full force with leaders from design, retail and editorial including: Nancy Berger, Publisher, Marie Claire; Carole Hochman, Chief Creative Officer, Carole Hochman Design Group; David Chines, Founder + CEO at COPIOUS ROW; Elizabeth Schweitzer Miller, Director, Merchandise Planning & Allocation at Bloomingdale’s; Laura Pomerantz, Vice Chairman And Head Of Strategic Accounts, Cushman & Wakefield; Velvor Rhone, Chief of Staff, Bloomingdale’s; Claudia Silver, Executive Fashion Director, Town & Country Magazine; and Craig Tharkur, Chief of Staff, Bally. Lupus Research Alliance volunteer and fashion industry leader Mary Belle was an active participant in the Luncheon Committee.

A silent auction featured close to 90 handbags donated by top designers to fund lupus research.  In addition, exclusive “experiences” were a first this year!

“A hallmark of the New York spring season, this year’s luncheon is the first hosted by our new organization,” bringing new perspective, new energy and new enthusiasm,” said Co-CEO Margaret G. Dowd.  “We welcome this increased support as we unify the lupus community behind one mission – to free the world from lupus through the power of science.”

Thanks go to Modern Luxury for providing guests with the latest issue of Manhattan Magazine.

 About Lupus

Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of lupus sufferers are women, mostly young women between the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.

About the Lupus Research Alliance

The Lupus Research Alliance is the largest private funder of lupus research, united to free the world from lupus by harnessing the power of innovative science to make a difference for people living with the prototypical autoimmune disease.  Through the power of collaboration, we are relentlessly focused on seizing every opportunity to transform the lives of all affected – patients, families, loved ones and the entire lupus community.

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Lupus Research Alliance Inaugural Gala Honors Founding Board & Pfizer Inc. – Raises Over $2.5 Million for Lupus Research

November 22, 2016 – New York, NY – The newly merged Lupus Research Alliance celebrated its debut at the Inaugural Gala, uniting the three world leaders in lupus research as the driving force for better treatments and a cure. In just one night, the country’s largest lupus fundraising event raised over $2.5 million – with every dollar going directly to support lupus research. The organization unveiled its iconic new symbol in grand style, marking its identity as the catalyst, champion and creator of scientific innovation in lupus and autoimmune disease.

The Lupus Reearch Alliance 2016 Gala at the Waldorf

Lupus Research Alliance Chairman and CEO of the New York Jets, Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV, co-hosted the evening with Vice-Chair Richard K. DeScherer, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Bloomberg L.P. along with founding Board members Robert Pittman, Chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia, Inc. and Carol Weisman, long-time supporter and lupus patient. As emcee, Emmy-winning journalist, lupus advocate and devoted mom to her daughter with lupus, Brenda Blackmon charmed the crowd with her vivacious warmth.

Freda-Lewis Hall, MD, DFAPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer accepted the Corporate Leadership Award on behalf of Pfizer Inc for their ongoing dedication to improving lupus treatment. “Our commitment to patients with lupus is tied closely to our mission to develop new, safe and effective therapies, especially where there is high medical need. We are proud to collaborate with the Lupus Research Alliance because together we are stronger and smarter than either of us alone.”

“We recognize Pfizer tonight as an exceptional partner in the lupus community,” said Mr. Johnson. “The company’s vision closely aligns with our own – to apply the finest science to improve health across the globe. And we share a deep commitment to work not just for the patient, but with the patient to develop the best possible treatments.”

All 18 members of the Lupus Research Alliance Founding Board of Directors were honored for their visionary leadership in uniting the Alliance for Lupus Research, Lupus Research Institute and S.L.E. Lupus Foundation into one organization with a singular quest to free the world of lupus through the power of science.

 

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“Tonight we recognize the leaders who spearheaded this historic merger,” noted Mr. DeScherer. “Every person on our Board either has lupus or cares deeply about someone who does. That personal connection is transformed directly into action to accelerate the emerging science we need to find better treatments and a cure.”

Watch this video to experience the enthusiasm of the 600 guests in the room as the new symbol and identity of the new Lupus Research Alliance came to life in its very first public appearance.

About Lupus

Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of lupus sufferers are women, mostly young women between the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.

 About the Lupus Research Alliance

Born from the merger of three organizations with a common belief in the potential for science to overcome lupus, the Lupus Research Alliance is at the forefront of driving innovative research that can make a difference for people living with the prototypical autoimmune disease. With that shared conviction, the Board of Directors promises to fund all the organization’s administrative and fundraising costs, ensuring that 100% of all public donations go directly to funding research programs to realize our vision of a world free from lupus.

More information can be found at www.lupusresearch.org.