The 6th Annual MDA Tradition of Hope Gala, to be held Oct. 15, 2011 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, will be a star-studded event bringing more than 500 business and civic leaders together to fight ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Expected to raise more than $500,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Augie's Quest, the funds will help speed research seeking treatments and cures for the devastating disease.

MDA’s Augie’s Quest is named for philanthropist and fitness industry pioneer Augie Nieto. Nieto and his wife, Lynne, co-chair the MDA ALS Division. MDA’s Augie’s Quest has raised more than $30 million to fight ALS.

Tradition of Hope honorees are:

  • Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of Fox’s “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance”. He was a recent co-host for the 2011 MDA Labor Day Telethon, and will be receiving the Champions for ALS Award;
  • Peter Ueberroth, president of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, former Major League Baseball commissioner and co-chairman of the Pebble Beach Company. He will receive the prestigious Robert Ross Founder’s Award;
  • David Pyle, founder & CEO of American Career College, Inc., and executive chairman of the Board of West Coast University. He is receiving the Humanitarian Award.

“This gala is one of our premiere events, and I am so grateful to Nigel, Peter and David for being a part of it,‘’ said Augie Nieto. "The funds raised will allow us to continue funding cutting-edge research that will ultimately lead to treatments and a cure. The night will be full of hope and promise for a world without ALS.’’

The reception, which will include silent and live auctions, dinner, entertainment and live music, begins at 6 p.m.

Nancy O'Dell ("Entertainment Tonight’’ and MDA National ALS Ambassador), John Ondrasik (Five For Fighting), Max Adler (“Glee”), Brandon Barash (“General Hospital”) and Ace Young (Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter) are expected to attend. The gala is being emceed by Emmy-winning journalist Jann Carl. Carl most recently co-hosted the 2011 MDA Labor Day Telethon with Lythgoe, O’Dell, and Alison Sweeney (NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and author of The Mommy Diet).

“With truly outstanding honorees, amazing event co-chairs Linda and Alex Cappello, and unrivaled inspiration from Augie and Lynne Nieto, Tradition of Hope undoubtedly will be an extraordinary night in the fight against ALS,” said MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg.

For more information and/or tickets for the event, visit Augie’s Quest or call 858-277-8206.

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