In an amazing display of dedication and support, hundreds of celebrities, businesspersons, sports figures, and entertainment-industry leaders came together for “A Night at Sardi’s,” the annual star-studded benefit for the Alzheimer's Association.

Held at the Beverly Hilton, the much-anticipated March 4 event raised nearly $1 million for Alzheimer’s care and research. In 17 years, A Night at Sardi’s has raised nearly $18 million for the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Comedian and author Chelsea Handler hosted the evening, which, in addition to cocktails and dinner, included red carpet arrivals, awards presentations and a research update. It culminated in a concert version of the musical “Damn Yankees” performed by some of the industry’s most recognizable talents, including Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes, Melina Kanakaredes, Katey Sagal, Victor Garber, Peter Gallagher, Kathryn Gallagher, Ken Howard, Sharon Lawrence, Vicki Lewis, Ron Fassler and Larry Raben.

Actor JK Simmons led cast members from CBS’s “Big Bang Theory” in a rousing rendition of the show’s finale, “You’ve Gotta Have Heart.”

FOX Sports received the Advocacy Award for its public service campaign and support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Sportscaster and former NFL Star Charles Davis presented the award to David Hill, Chairman & CEO of FOX Sports Television Group, Ed Goren, President of FOX Sports and Bill Wanger, SVP of Programming & Research, FOX Sports.

Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden and fellow cast members of “Friday Night Lights” presented the gala’s Abe Burrows Entertainment Award to the show’s executive producer Jason Katims. The NBC drama was honored for depicting the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on its characters. The award is named for the late playwright and director, who died of Alzheimer’s.

Swoosie Kurtz presented Caregiver of the Year honors to Serge Morales of Agoura Hills, whose wife, Susan Franklin Morales, was diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer’s two years ago at age 55.

Many other entertainment luminaries came to support the cause and raise awareness, including Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, Molly Sims, Billy Crystal, Soleil Moon Frye, Rachel York, Ron Rifkin, Gina Philips, Shelley Fabares and Mike Farrell.

Event co-chairs were Laurie Burrows Grad and Peter Grad. Ms. Grad created this event to honor her father, the late playwright/director Abe Burrows.

This gala is important because it raises funds for Alzheimer’s disease care and research. More than 5 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow as the population ages and the Baby Boom generation turns age 65. The Alzheimer’s Association is the global leader in Alzheimer care, support and research.

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