Matthew, William and Alexandra Reeve Givens together hosted the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation's annual “A Magical Evening” Gala on Thursday, November 19, 2015, at Cipriani Wall Street.
The evening, which was emceed by Meredith Vieira raised close to one million to serve the millions of people who are living with paralysis.
This year’s event honored President George H.W. Bush with the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award. Judy A. Smith, President and CEO, Smith & Company received the Dana Reeve HOPE Award and Shawn Friedkin, Founder and President, Stand Among Friends received the Arnold H. Snider Visionary Leadership Award.
Meryl Streep opened the event speaking about her friendship with Christopher and Dana Reeve and led the the room with a champagne toast to their legacy. Ben Platt and Tony Award winner Lena Hall performed for the crowd of 430 guests which included Eric LeGrand, Amy Keller Laird, Bethany Watson, DJ Whoo Kid, Francesco Clark, Lucy Sykes, Zak Williams, Marsha Garces Williams and more.
“It has been quite a journey over the past 25-years. Thanks to the generosity and commitment of our steadfast supporters, we have sparked a movement in honor of our founders, Christopher and Dana Reeve. This movement has resulted in a surge of innovation across the field of spinal cord research and the realization that we have a chance to make a difference for the millions living with paralysis," said Peter Wilderotter, President and CEO of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. “Last night, we honored three individuals who exemplify the Reeve Foundation mission — to advance the care of paralysis today while seeking the inevitable cures that exist on tomorrow’s horizon.”
The evening also featured a tribute to the past 25-years of the Reeve Foundation to honor the milestone anniversary of A Magical Evening, as well as an update on scientific breakthroughs like epidural stimulation which enabled four young men — all completely paralyzed — to stand, voluntarily move their legs, and recover critical autonomic functions. Last year, the Reeve Foundation unveiled a historic campaign, called The Big Idea, to fast track the next phase of epidural stimulation research with the mission of expediting the potential therapy to the clinic. For more information on The Big Idea, visit: www.ReeveBigIdea.org.
Through the Reeve Foundation’s persistence and promise, neuroscientists around the world agree that repairing the damaged spinal cord is not a question of if, but a question of when. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. Proceeds from A Magical Evening enable the Reeve Foundation to continue its pivotal work.