Last Night’s Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala Raised $2 Million

Previous PostFind Your Zen: The Beginner’s Guide To Meditation
Next PostMissoni Baia Breaks Ground In Edgewater Miami
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Tim Gunn, Nina Garcia

Photo Credit: BFA

Last night on Tuesday, October 24th, the 34th annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala was held in New York City at Cipriani 42nd Street. Thanks to the generous support of the audience the event raised an impressive $2 million for critical Alzheimer’s care.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research in the country. More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health

Willie Geist, host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist and Co-Host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, emceed the gala and shared eye opening statistics about the impact that Alzheimer’s on the country, our families, and our community. The evening included remarks from Gala General Chair and Founder Princess Yasmin Aga Khan (daughter of Rita Hayworth) and 2017 Gala Co-Chairs Karyn Kornfeld, Robin Meltzer, and Daryl Simon.

Robin Meltzer, Daryl Simon, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Karyn Kornfeld
Robin Meltzer, Daryl Simon, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Karyn Kornfeld

Photo Credit: BFA

Aga Khan proudly announced that with the funds raised at this year’s Rita Hayworth Gala, the New York City, Chicago and Palm Beach events crossed the $73 million mark in funds raised to support the Alzheimer’s Association. Aga Khan praised Kornfeld, Meltzer, and Simon for their continued and loyal support of the Association as this year’s Gala Co-Chairs, calling them “tenacious, creative, passionate and beautiful,” before introducing them to speak more about the heartbreaking effects of the disease.

Simon discussed how her own mother lost her life to the disease, and the staggering statistic that by 2050, 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s unless progress is made in finding a cure. Kornfeld continued on to discuss the importance of education and lifestyle changes in promoting overall brain health and potentially lowering the risk of cognitive decline. Meltzer concluded the Co-Chairs remarks by recognizing the countless hours and emotional, physical, and financial resources caregivers devote to family members living with Alzheimer’s, highlighting the Alzheimer’s Associations efforts to support these dedicated caregivers. 

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Nina Garcia, Tim Gunn
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Nina Garcia, Tim Gunn

Photo Credit: BFA

Nina Garcia, Editor in Chief of ELLE and Judge of Lifetime’s Project Runway, was honored with the Champion Award. Garcia was honored for her commitment to fighting Alzheimer’s and her many efforts to raise awareness of the disease through her internationally-recognized platform. Garcia was introduced by Tim Gunn, design educator, author and Emmy-winning Co-Host of Lifetime’s Project Runway.

Gunn gave heart warming speech about how both he and Garcia have been impacted by Alzheimer’s, sharing that it was infact Garcia who inspired him to use his personal connection to the disease to mobilize for a cure, raving that Garcia is “superb at shaking people up, challenging their priorities and motivating them to do what’s best.”

Robert Verdi, Nina Garcia
Robert Verdi, Nina Garcia

Photo Credit: BFA

In her remarks, Garcia opened about her mother Cecilia, who she called “a fierce matriarch,” who lived with Alzheimer’s for eight years. She reflected on her mother’s love for fashion and magazines, and how the devastating disease “takes away those passions” from those affected. Garcia pointed out that in the last decade, deaths from Alzheimer’s has increased significantly, while deaths from other major causes have significantly decreased, calling this pattern a “rallying cry for investing in research as well as support for those suffering and their caregivers.”

Robert Verdi, TV personality, style expert, and founder of Great Bag Co., spoke on how Alzheimer’s impacted his life, reminiscing on his own father’s diagnosis as his family’s “worst nightmare.” He spoke of his mother’s unwavering commitment to caring for his father up until he passed away in 2010. Verdi then called on attendees to donate to support the Association’s various programs in exchange for a Great Bag, generating additional on the spot funds to support the Association.

To learn more, donate, or get involved check out alz.org.

connect with haute living National
Loader