Great Ladies Luncheon

Great Ladies Luncheon

by guest contributor Rachel Parry
Photo credit: Tony Powell

Distinguished Washington, DC residents in philanthropy, fashion, science, media and sports assembled for the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s (ADDF) Ninth Annual Great Ladies Luncheon & Fashion Show at the Ritz-Carlton. The event raised nearly $600,000 for drug discovery programs and clinical trials to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease.

Amy Baier, Cindy Jones, Lorraine Wallace

Hosted by sports broadcaster and Washington native Lindsay Czarniak, the event honored Washington Capitals hockey player and Stanley Cup winner T.J. Oshie. Oshie was honored for his commitment to advancing awareness of Alzheimer’s disease since his father was diagnosed in 2012. After guests viewed an emotional 2018 interview between Czarniak and Oshie, during which he dedicated his Stanley Cup win to his father, Oshie graciously accepted the honor from the ADDF and delivered a message of hope to guests.

Barbara Crocker, Dr. Tina Alster, Michelle Kosinski

“The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation has given me and my family hope that with the advancement of medicine and the efforts of people like Dr. Fillit, we will one day prevent Alzheimer’s and find a cure. Thank you for this very special honor,” Oshie said.

Honoree T.J. Oshie

Dr. Michela Gallagher, founder and CEO of AgeneBio, Inc. and professor at Johns Hopkins University, was also honored for her work advancing treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Gallagher received the inaugural Estelle Gelman Award for Innovation in Drug Discovery for her groundbreaking research that holds the potential to yield the first drug to slow the progression of symptoms associated with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease.

Honoree Michela Gallagher, PhD, Marc and Elise Lefkowitz, Howard Fillit

Over lunch, guests viewed the vibrant fashions of Carolina Herrera’s Fall 2019 Collection. As she introduced the collection, Emilie Rubinfeld, president of Carolina Herrera, noted that bright colors were no longer exclusive to Spring and Summer alone.

Emilie Rubinfeld, Elise Lefkowitz, Wes Gordon

Wes Gordon, creative director of the fashion house, assisted with the live auction. Gordon jumped on stage to assist Czarniak and luncheon founder Elise Lefkowitz as they auctioned a trip of a lifetime to New York City. Gordon offered front row seats to Carolina Herrera’s Fall fashion week show and an exclusive tour of his atelier in the Garment District, helping to raise $9,000 for this auction item alone.

Howard Fillit

The day began with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell who opened the Symposium to Conquer Alzheimer’s, which was sponsored by Eli Lilly. Led by ADDF’s Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer Dr. Howard Fillit, panelists Dr. Marilyn S. Albert of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Dr. Eric Siemers of Siemers Integration LLC, and Dr. Richard S. Isaacson of Weill Cornell Medicine discussed the role of biomarkers in early detection and accurate diagnosis, as well as prevention and importance of brain health.

Audrey Chihocky Flisi

“Novel biomarkers, such as those being developed by the ADDF Diagnostics Accelerator program, are critical to developing better Alzheimer’s treatments,” said Dr. Fillit. “Just as cholesterol is an early biomarker for heart disease, our aim is to have a simple, inexpensive blood test that would allow doctors to more easily screen patients for Alzheimer’s disease.”