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Save the Date 2012 Old
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Building Toward A Cure Gala

 

At Banking on a Cure in 2011, Visionary Award Honoree Aryeh Bourkoff (left) joins Foundation Fighting Blindness Co-Founders Gordon and Lulie Gund and Foundation Fighting Blindness CEO Bill Schmidt. The event raised nearly one million dollars to benefit sight-saving research for retinal degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration

At Banking on a Cure in 2011, Visionary Award Honoree Aryeh Bourkoff (left) joins Foundation Fighting Blindness Co-Founders Gordon and Lulie Gund and Foundation Fighting Blindness CEO Bill Schmidt. The event raised nearly one million dollars to benefit sight-saving research for retinal degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.
Photo by: Kelly Sheehan Photography

 

 

Foundation Fighting Blindness To Recognize New York Visionaries At 'Building Toward A Cure' Gala In Support Of Sight-Saving Research

Late NYC Disabilities Commissioner Matthew P. Sapolin Honored for Lifetime Achievement



New York, NY - The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a national nonprofit focused on driving sight-saving research, will honor Ron Yeffet, president and CEO, GSR Concrete Tov, LLC; and Karen Holopigian, Ph.D., research professor, Department of Ophthalmology, New York University School of Medicine, with Visionary Awards at Building Toward a Cure. The event, happening Wednesday, March 7, at the Plaza Hotel, will raise critical research funds toward preventions, treatments and cures for vision-robbing retinal degenerative diseases like macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Usher syndrome, and other related conditions.


"We're thrilled to recognize the accomplishments of these visionaries who are passionate about the fight against blindness," said William T. Schmidt, CEO, Foundation Fighting Blindness. "Their support in raising awareness and critical research funds gives hope to the more than 10 million Americans living with vision-robbing retinal diseases."

The Foundation will also present a Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of the late Matthew P. Sapolin, who served as the first-ever commissioner for the Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities under the Bloomberg administration from 2006 until he passed away from cancer on November 2011. Blind from juvenile cancer of the eye, Sapolin's advocacy for New York City's disabled led to a new mentorship program, and pushed for more accommodating buildings, taxis and sidewalks around the city. His wife Candra and their two children, Trevor and Toscany, will accept Sapolin's Lifetime Achievement Award on March 7.



Building Toward a Cure Dinner Chairs and Foundation Fighting Blindness National Trustees Iris and Rueven Spiegel became involved because their daughter Tali is affected with RP, a retinal disease characterized by night blindness and a progressive loss of peripheral vision. Foundation-funded researchers in Israel have identified the gene responsible for Tali's vision loss, which opens the door for potential gene therapy and other treatments. Mr. Spiegel, president and CEO of Israel Discount Bank, was honored with the Foundation's Visionary Award in 2010. Also chairing Building Toward a Cure is Foundation Fighting Blindness Board Director and Paul Hastings Senior Council of Corporate Development Daniel G. Bergstein, who has three generations of family members affected with RP.

The Visionary Award will be presented to Ron Yeffet, a leader in New York's construction industry who has owned or managed the development of more than 32 projects over the last 15 years. Born in Israel and the son of diplomats, Yeffet has also been recognized by Jewish organizations for his work in the community. Also being honored is Dr. Karen Holopigian, whose research into electrophysiological analysis of retinal disease has greatly contributed to the field. She was also part of the team involved in Neurotech's multicenter Phase II clinical trial using Encapsulated Cell Technology (ECT) for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration and early and late stage RP.


What: Building Toward a Cure, Benefiting the Foundation
Fighting Blindness



Where: The Plaza Hotel

Fifth Avenue at 58th Street

New York, NY 10019




When: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

6 p.m. Reception

7 p.m. Dinner & Awards


Individual tickets are available for $1,000 each and sponsorship packages begin at $5,000. For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Events Manager Jennie Wexler at JWexler@FightBlindness.org  or (212) 244-1470 


About Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national nonprofit driving research that will lead to preventions, treatments and cures for retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases that affect more than 10 million Americans. In its 40-year history, the Foundation has raised more than $450 million as the leading non-governmental funder of retinal research. Breakthrough Foundation-funded studies using gene therapy have restored significant vision in children and young adults who were previously blind, paving the way for using this method to treat a wide variety of retinal degenerative diseases, and proving a cure is in sight. With a network of nearly 50 chapters, the Foundation also provides support and resources to affected individuals and their families in communities across the country.

 

 
Joyce Brooks

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