November 20, 2018 – New York, NY –
The Lupus Research Alliance 2018 Breaking Through Gala honored
Board member William J. Wolfe, Chairman
and CEO of First Washington Realty, Inc.
for his instrumental role in uniting the
lupus community to an unparalleled global research enterprise.
With the generous support of 650 attendees, the evening raised
over $3.5 million specifically for lupus research.
Wolfe has been a leader in advancing lupus research to improve
treatment since his daughter Jacqueline Wolfe Maggi was
diagnosed many years ago.
accepting his award, Mr. Wolfe commented, “The only way we will
find better treatments for lupus, and one day a cure, is to work
together in one massive and well-managed collaborative effort,
investigating every avenue of hope, until we find answers.”
Honorary Co-chairs who helped make this
the world’s largest single lupus fundraising event include the
Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg,
sent the lupus communitya warm message on behalf of herself and
her dad, Joe Germanotta: While we
would have very much liked to be with you this evening to honor
Bill Wolfe and the work of the Lupus Research Alliance, the
fires in Southern California which are threatening so many homes
preclude us from attending. While we are not with you in
person, we are very much with you in spirit.... Working
together, we can find that cure.”
Germanotta serves on the Lupus Research Alliance Board of
Directors to help drive research that can cure the disease that
took the life of his sister Joanne.
Eleven-year old Miah Andrade, herself an emerging voice
in the lupus community, addressed the audience, sharing her own
experience with lupus and how meeting Selena Gomez at the 2017
Lupus Research Alliance Gala impacted her life.
Celebrated trumpeter Brian Newmanopened
the programin jazzy style, while Broadway star and Tony Award
Nominee Norm Lewisconcluded with moving songs about
perseverance and friendship. Willie Geist, Host of
Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist and Co-Host,
emceed the Gala, delighting guests with his humor and sincerity.
Alliance Co-Chairman Richard K. DeScherer, Chief Legal &
Compliance Officer, Bloomberg L.P. hosted the evening.
highly distinguished and hard-working group of 2018 Gala
Co-chairs include: Ira Akselrad, President, The Johnson
Company; Neil D. Cohen, Chairman, Snapfish.com, CEO,
District Photo Inc.; Jay Epstien, Co-Chair, Global Real
Estate Practice, DLA Piper LLP; Mark L. Joseph, Chief
Commercial Officer, Transdev Group; Bruce Levenson,
Co-Founder, United Communications Group; Robert W. Pittman,
Chairman and CEO, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Dennis F. Ratner,
CEO, Ratner Companies; and Barry Rosenthal, Partner,
Rosenthal Advisory LLC.
Additional board members in attendance were: Brenda Blackmon,
Jerome Chazen, Jennie DeScherer, Bill Mulvihill, Molly McCabe,
Nadeem Meghji, and Carol Weisman.
Adding to the excitement of the night, New York’s iconic
Empire State Buildinglit up purple and red to help the Lupus
Research Alliance raise awareness of the disease and the
importance of scientific research.
Watch this videoto
understand why thousands of generous members of the lupus
community nationwide support the innovative science funded by
the Lupus Research Alliance.
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
About the Lupus Research Alliance
transforming the lives of people affected with
lupus by financing the mostinnovative 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.