The Alzheimer’s Association's 29th Annual Chicago Rita Hayworth Gala returned this year on May 7th to the Hilton Chicago as one of the national organization’s biggest fundraisers. This annual spring black-tie event attracted more than 800 guests and included a cocktail reception with the high-energy CoverGirls violin show, a three-course dinner, program, auctions and live music by Orchestra 33. Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Rita Hayworth’s daughter and event founder, served once again as general chair of the event.
This year, the Alzheimer's Association presented the coveted Rita Hayworth Award to Dr. Lisa Genova, New York Times Bestselling Author of Still Alice for her contribution to Alzheimer’s disease awareness through her book as well as the feature film that Still Alice inspired last year. The Alzheimer's Association also presented awards to two notable honorees, including the Cantore family, who received the 2016 Alzheimer's Association Family Philanthropy Award as longtime supporters. Joseph Cantore III accepted the award on behalf of his family. The Alzheimer’s Association Corporate Award was presented to Silverado and their CEO Loren Shook.
The theme “Time Is Of The Essence” paid tribute to the more than 210,000 residents from Illinois and the 5 million Americans who are living with the disease, and the future generations that will be affected unless treatment, prevention and ultimately a cure is found. Princess Yasmin, daughter of the legendary film star, established the Rita Hayworth Galas to pay tribute to her mother, Rita Hayworth, who lived with Alzheimer’s for many years before succumbing to the disease in 1987.
Under Princess Yasmin's leadership, over $68 million has been raised through the Chicago, Palm Beach and New York Rita Hayworth Galas.
The Chicago gala committee was led by co-chairs June D. Barnard and Maggie Murzanski. Jon Harris, senior vice president/CCO at ConAgra Foods, emceed the event with Fox Chicago’s Dawn Hasbrouck. To date, the gala has raised more than $1 million dollars.
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