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Lupus Foundation of America Awards Gala Raises Nearly $1.5 Million for Lupus Research & Education Programs

Posted Aug 24 2008 3:52pm
Good morning everyone ...



Well, last night was a great evening. The LFA's Annual Awards Gala went superbly, and raised almost $1.5 million for lupus research and education programs . I am going to share the press release with you below.



Wishing you a fantastic day, wherever you are.



Until next time, Wick



Patti LaBelle Wows Crowd at 5th Annual Lupus Foundation of America Awards Gala



Grammy Award-winning performer Patti LaBelle entertained a crowd of 600 here at the annual Lupus Foundation of American Awards Gala last night with her signature passion and distinctive high-octave vocals. The awards gala raised nearly $1.5 million to support lupus research and education programs, which benefit the millions of people who suffer from lupus and the families who support them.



CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent Soledad O’Brien served as the Master of Ceremonies for the Gala, which honored U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, (D-Iowa); Sheila C. Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC; and Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., President of Research and Development, Executive Vice President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb. The honorees were recognized for their efforts to bring national attention and resources to lupus, a devastating and life-threatening disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans and five million people worldwide.



Dr. Gary Gilkeson, Chair of the LFA Medical-Scientific Advisory Council, announced the establishment of the Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program, funded by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and dedicated to unlocking the mysteries of pediatric lupus. The research initiative is named in memory of Michael Jon Barlin, who at age twenty-four lost his courageous ten year battle with lupus. As the first and only initiative of its kind, the Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Lupus Research Program is an integral part of LFA’s strategy to focus resources in research areas that hold great promise to bring down barriers and advance the treatment, prevention and cure of lupus.



Presenting the awards were Louis B. Susman, Vice Chairman, Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking; Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and Sally Susman, Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer, Pfizer Inc. Notable guests included Ann and Vernon Jordan; Angela Burt-Murray, Editor-in-Chief, Essence Magazine; Randall Winston, Executive Producer, "Scrubs," and a LFA Board Member; and Mercedes Yvette, 2004 Runner-up, America’s Next Top Model.



U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Dr. Annette Shelby and Congressman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Debbie Dingell were the 2008 Honorary Chairs. U.S. Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) and Leslie Meek, Esq. were the Honorary Co-Chairs.



Photo: Soledad O'Brien, Patti LaBelle
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