For one more bright shining
moment, legendary Broadway
Director Tom O’Horgan stood
center stage in the spotlight, as the
audience rose to its feet cheering his
life-long accomplishments. For Mr.
O’Horgan, now 82 and living with
Alzheimer’s, this was not just another
standing ovation. The audience at this
year’s “Forget-Me-Not” Gala was acknowledging
his courage in speaking publicly
about the disease and his generosity to
the Alzheimer’s community.
The only man in Broadway history
to direct four shows simultaneously
— Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Lenny
and Inner City — Mr. O’Horgan was
humble in his remarks as he accepted
the Chapter’s “Public Awareness
Award” at The Pierre on June 2nd. He
noted that he has had a good life, and
that some people just get lucky.
This was but one of the defining
moments at the Chapter’s annual fundraiser attended
by hundreds of philanthropists and leaders of business,
healthcare, governments and the Alzheimer’s community.
The event raised
David Hyde Pierce, star of TV, film and Broadway and
a tireless advocate in the Alzheimer’s community, served as
emcee. He said, “For those families that have experienced
Alzheimer’s disease, we know the toll it takes. But for those
who have never experienced the disease, it is too easy to
dismiss the extraordinary impact of dementia. Over the
past few years, the performing arts have played an important
role in heightening public awareness, and setting the stage
for a public dialogue about the crisis of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Award-winning actor Kate Burton received the
Chapter’s “Creative Leadership Award” for her sensitive and
compelling portrayal of Dr. Ellis Grey, a trailblazing surgeon
with AD on Grey’s Anatomy. She was also singled out for her
work as a caregiver on Rescue Me, where she conveyed the
pain and sacrifice that caregivers make. Burton explained
her greatest reward is when viewers say, “You have told my
story in a way nobody has before.”
Jonathan Groff, star of Broadway’s Spring Awakening
and Hair, whose grandmother died from Alzheimer’s
disease, sang “Where Do I Go?” from Hair in tribute to Mr.
Honored with the Chapter’s “Community Leadership Award”
was Karen L. Bell, M.D., Professor and researcher at the Taub
Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging
Brain, and the Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center at Columbia
University Medical Center. Widely praised for her empathy
and steadfast commitment, Dr. Bell’s skill and knowledge
are invaluable resources to the Chapter and the community.
The Chapter was also proud to welcome some of the
country’s leading research scientists and clinicians including
Dr. Peter Davies, Dr. Robert Green, Dr. Mony de Leon,
Dr. Richard Mayeux and Dr. Mary Sano.
A very special recognition was paid to Board
member Rick Schneider who took on a leading role in
the Alzheimer’s community after his mother was diagnosed
with the disease four years ago. Seeing the potential of
our “Forget-Me-Not” Gala, he helped increase the amount
raised at this event by almost 200 percent through sheer
will, effort and dedication.
The evening included a cocktail reception, live and silent
auctions, and dinner and dancing to Valerie Romanoff’s
The Women In Action Committee, headed by Tami
Schneider, coordinated the evening’s auction with such
unforgettable items as luxurious vacations; a cocktail cruise
with David Hyde Pierce; a rare opportunity to dine with
three of the country’s finest research scientists; coffee with renowned architect Daniel Libeskind and a tour of his
studio; and a private cooking class/dinner party in your
home with Executive Chef Arlene Jacobs. In addition,
$89,860 was raised during a Dutch auction to benefit the
Chapter’s Emergency Special Assistance Fund.
The Gala was Chaired by past Board Co-Chair Mark
Zurack. We wish to thank all of our honorees, supporters,
donors and guests for helping to make the 2008 Gala a
Visit our entire 2008 "Forget-Me-Not" Gala photo album.
— Kim Esp