November 19, 2020
Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez Invite Global Lupus Community
New York, NY. November 19 – The Lupus Research Alliance (LRA) is taking the show on-line this year with a preeminent virtual Fundraising Event celebrating extraordinary scientific achievements. Performances will include a special tribute by the one-and-only Lady Gaga and a solo by Broadway luminary Norm Lewis. The evening’s program boasts celebrity appearances by Selena Gomez as well as philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg and Super Bowl Champion Willie Colon.
This event aims to raise $3 million for the LRA to continue fulfilling its mission as the largest private funder of lupus research worldwide. Leading the festivities is Willie Geist, long-time friend of the LRA and host of NBC’s Sunday Today with Willie Geist and MSNBC’s show Morning Joe.
The Lupus Research 2020 Virtual Fundraising Event is a night for LRA supporters to shine, honoring Jenny and Spencer Zwick, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Solamere Capital LLC and member of the LRA Board of Directors.
Teenager Aaliya Qassim will share how she has turned her own brave battle with lupus into a fight for the greater good of all people struggling with the disease. NFL Super Bowl star Willie Colon will talk about his mom’s strength as a parent with this tough disease and Emmy-winning Journalist Brenda Blackmon will speak about the organization’s leadership in response to COVID-19.
LRA President and CEO Kenneth M. Farber commented, “Completely reimagined for these extraordinary times, 2020’s Gala may well top all others that have come before. While we cannot physically be together, we are not constrained by the size of even the largest ballroom, and every member of the worldwide lupus community can join us on November 23rd. I expect that the outpouring of support coming our way that night will leave everyone inspired and excited about the many milestones we anticipate for lupus treatment in the new year.”
The highly distinguished group of 2020 Gala Co-Chairs working to make this event an unprecedented success include: Board of Directors co-chairs Ira Akselrad, President, The Johnson Company and Richard K. DeScherer, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer Bloomberg L.P. Equally active are Board members Nadeem Meghji, Senior Managing Director, Head of Real Estate Americas Blackstone; Molly McCabe, Lupus Advocate; and William J. Wolfe, Chairman of First Washington Realty, Inc. as well as supporters Robert W. Pittman, Chairman and CEO iHeartMedia, Inc.; and Julian Robertson, Chairman Tiger Management.
Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90% of people with lupus are women, most of whom are diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 44. Women of color are especially at risk. In lupus, the immune system, which is designed to protect against infection, creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues and organs — the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.
About the Lupus Research Alliance
The Lupus Research Alliance is the largest non-governmental, non-profit funder of lupus research worldwide. The organization aims to transform treatment by funding the most innovative lupus research, fostering diverse scientific talent, and driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus. Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors fund all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs.
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