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The 2009 Rita Hayworth Gala



The 2009 Rita Hayworth Gala Raises
$1.9 Million for

The Alzheimer’s Association

Themed “So Near & Yet So Far”

Nurit Kahane Haase, Chele Chiavacci, Alexandra Lebenthal, Muffie Potter Aston, Margo Catsimatidis, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Cornelia Bregman,

Nurit Kahane Haase, Chele Chiavacci, Alexandra Lebenthal, Muffie Potter Aston, Margo Catsimatidis, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Cornelia Bregman,
 Louise Kornfeld, Michele Herbert, Nancy Corzine. 
Photo by:  Jonathan  Ziegler/Patrick McMullan




The Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, themed “So Near & Yet So Far,” took place on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.  This year’s gala raised nearly $2 million. Guests enjoyed one of the most glamorous and highly anticipated evenings of the season in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel.  Roger Waters poignantly opened the evening the playing “Wish You Were Here” and The Pointer Sisters and The Stingers Band got the crowd of more than 600 guests dancing.

The annual Rita Hayworth Gala is one of New York City’s most prestigious and successful fundraising events.  Over the past 24 years the Rita Hayworth Galas in New York and Chicago have raised more than $53 million. Funds raised support Alzheimer’s Association’s goal of enhancing care and support for all affected and eliminating Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research.  Princess Yasmin Aga Khan established the Gala as a tribute to her mother, Rita Hayworth, who lived with Alzheimer’s disease for many years before her death in 1987.  

Rita Hayworth Gala attendees included Bryant and Hilary Gumbel, Regis and Joy Philbin, David Hyde Pierce and Brian Hargrove, Brooke Shields, Nina Garcia and David Conrod, Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon Aykroyd, Roger Waters, Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney, John McEnroe and Patty Smyth, Nikki Haskell, Eric Ripert, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Nantz, Art Garfunkel and Harvey Keitel and Daphna Kastner.

For their outstanding contribution to the field of Alzheimer’s Muffie Potter Aston received the Rita Hayworth Award, Lonnie Wollin, Esq. received the Lifetime Achievement Award and John, Margo, Andrea and John Jr. Catsimatidis received the Family Philanthropy Award.  The founder of the Rita Hayworth Gala Princess Yasmin Aga Khan served as General Chair; Alexandra Lebenthal was the Gala Chair; Allen Brill was the Underwriting Chair; Muffie Potter Aston was the Sponsor Chair; Nancy Corzine was the Décor Chair; Nurit Kahane Haase was the Journal Chair; Donna Dixon Aykroyd, Somers Farkas, Susan Hess, Kathy Hilton, and Anne Hearst McInerney were the Auction Co-Chairs; Chele Upton Chiavacci, Hilary Dick, and Andrea Stark were the Gift Bag Co-Chairs; and Dennis Basso and Mark Locks were the Corporate Committee Co-Chairs.  Rolex Watch USA Inc. underwrote the Gala. 

About the Alzheimer’s Association:

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research.  Our 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.  Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.  For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit or call 1-800-272-3900.



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