The 32nd annual Alzheimer's Association Rita Hayworth Gala was held at Cipriani 42nd Street on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015.
The event raised more than $2 million for critical Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs.
Willie Geist, co-anchor of The Today Show and Morning Joe emceed the event, which included remarks from Gala General Chair and Founder Princess Yasmin Aga Khan (daughter of Rita Hayworth) and 2015 Gala Chair Daryl Simon. Simon gave a moving speech about her mother’s battle with the disease, which inspired her to become involved with the Gala. Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley poignantly spoke as a part of the program, sharing about her mother’s struggle with dementia.
Michele and Larry Herbert were honored with the Rita Hayworth Award. Michele spoke powerfully about her dedication to the cause drawing both laughter and tears from the crowd. The Herbert’s recently committed a substantial gift to create the Michele and Larry Herbert Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s in Women Fund as part of the Alzheimer’s Association Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Fund, which will support critical research into gender vulnerabilities in Alzheimer’s and why woman are disproportionately affected by this disease.
Later in the evening, CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller introduced B. Smith and Dan Gasby as they were honored with the Alzheimer’s Association Champions Award for their dedication to the cause and for B.‘s courage in announcing her own diagnosis. Actor Danny Glover send a personal video message honoring his close friends B. and Dan for "bravely using their voices for Alzheimer’s" calling them his champions and heroes. Model Klara Urbanova donned the stunning purple gown celebrated fashion designer Naeem Khan, a longtime supporter of the organization, designed as a part of his Purple Dress Partnership with the Gala, which was auctioned off to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.
Notable attendees included: Daryl Simon (Gala Chair), Princess Yasmin Aga Khan (Gala Founder), Michele and Larry Herbert (Honorees), B. Smith and Dan Gasby (Honoree), Willie Geist (Emcee), Brooke Shields, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Ray Kelly, Hunt Slonem, Patty Smyth McEnroe, Brendan Shanahan, Yaz Hernandez, Olivia Jordan, Robin Meltzer, Sharon Bush, Nicole Sexton, Jean Shafiroff, John and Margo Catsimatidis, Somers Farkas, Chele Chiavacci Farley, Margo Nederlander, Karyn Kornfeld, Carleton Varney, Harold Koda, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia and Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney.
The theme of this year’s Gala, ‘our future is crystal clear’, highlighted the gala steering committee’s commitment to the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease. Since the inaugural Rita Hayworth Gala over three decades ago, the New York, Chicago and Palm Beach events have now raised more than $68 million to support the Alzheimer’s Association. The mission of the Association 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 promotion of brain health.