2002-10-19 / Community

Benefit Raises $1.8 Million For MDA

Benefit Raises $1.8 Million For MDA

"Wings Over Wall Street," a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), was truly a night to remember for 1700 guests that crowded the Broadway Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis, in the heart of Times Square, New York City.

The crowd gathered to support the ALS research teams at the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig MDA/ALS Center at Columbia University and the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins by helping to raise an incredible $1.8 million, the highest fundraiser in the history of MDA. Event supporters included presenting sponsor Credit Suisse First Boston, Zweig-Dimenna Trading, LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene, & MacRae, LLP, SAC Capital Advisors, LLC and Preferred Empire Mortgage.

During the event program the executive event committee, celebrity attendees and MDA VIPs were introduced, followed by special award presentations, and the live and research minute auctions.

The event committee for "Wings Over Wall Street," was headed by Chairperson, Michael Beier of Credit Suisse First Boston, and included executive committee members, Larry Schiffer, Le Boeuf, Lamb, Greene, and MacRae, L.L.P., Andrea Evers, Credit Suisse First Boston, and Scott Horak, R&J Construction. MDA VIPs in attendance included, MDA National Board Members, Dr. Christopher Rosa, John Tognino, Victor Wright, MDA National Vice President Denise Richardson and MDA Art Collection recognized artist, Bill Ross.

Celebrities in attendance included, "Law & Order Special Victims Unit’s" Mariska Hargitay, film star Maria Bello, daytime talk show host and comedian Caroline Rhea, former New York Yankee David Cone, actor Stephen Baldwin, and from "One Life to Live," Tonja Walker Davidson. Actor William Baldwin hosted the event.

The night began with a beautiful acapella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sung by Carla Hall.

Event program highlights included a check presentation for $250,000 by Brady W. Dougan, Global Head of Securities, Credit Suisse First Boston to fight ALS. Former New York Yankee, David Cone presented the evening’s Spirit Awards. One to Christopher Pendergast, a Long Island, New York resident who raises public awareness for ALS and another to Notre Dame alum, Peter Demmerle, who works tirelessly to seek ALS research funding from national legislators and private sources. Founder of last year’s event "Wings Over Hope," Toni Diamond and her husband Warren Schiffer thanked the audience for support and commitment to finding a cure for ALS. Together, along with Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein from Johns Hopkins, they presented the second annual Diamond Award to Dr. Hiroshi Mitsumoto, leader of the ALS research team at Columbia University.

The crowd became silent as MDA Vice President and "Wings" chairperson, Michael Beier appeared on stage to thank those who supported the event and emotionally emphasized the number of dollars it would take to find a cure.

He then presented the first annual Beier Award to Norma Steck, an inspirational leader that has led support groups and spearheaded fundraising campaigns to benefit ALS research and patient care.

The program then moved to the "Research Minute Auction." Celebrity guest, Caroline Rhea joined host William Baldwin on stage to excite the audience and encourage research sponsorship." Within minutes an incredible $225,000 was raised. As the auction came to a close, MDA Vice President Denise Richardson and Telethon co-host Monica Pelligrini continued to work the crowd raising another $30,000 in research minutes. A grand total of $255,000 was raised!

The live auction, which included a trip for two to Hawaii, rare Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon (six bottle vertical, vintages 1994-1999) and, original artwork by MDA Art Collection recognized artist Bill Ross, brought in $43,000.

An additional $185,000 was generated through the Silent Auction, highlighted items include rounds of golf at exclusive private clubs, sports memorabilia, original artwork, jewelry, sporting tickets, trips and get-a-ways and these incredibly unique items:

Autographed U2 Guitar

($25,250)

Autographed Eric Clapton Guitar

$ 8,000

Photograph of NY firefighters

"Raising the Flag 9/11/01"

$25,000

"Wings Over Wall Street" was a phenomenal success, and the $1.8 million raised is expected to make a difference in the advancement in ALS research.


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