As the year draws to an end, New York and L.A. will be the sites for tributes to and fundraisers for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Christopher died October 10, 2004. Dana, who was at his side constantly from the day he suffered his fall on May 27, 1995, passed away March 6, 2006.
The Christopher Reeve Foundation to date has awarded more than $77 million to 650 new and veteran researchers around the world. Their work falls into major areas including stem cell research and cellular replacement, rehabilitation, pain and neurotransmission. The Foundation has a new logo and tagline: “”Today’s Care, Tomorrow’s Cure.” Highlights of 2008 have included the Military Outreach Program. In 2009, the Foundation will launch its first human clinical trial.
To note the Christopher Reeve Foundation’s advances and needed progress, on Nov. 10 the 18th “A Magical Evening” will be held at N.Y.’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. And on Dec. 2 “The Making Magic Happen” will happen at the Beverly Hilton.
In N.Y., James Nederlander will receive the Visionary Leadership Award from Francine LeFrak, gala co-chair as well as director of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundations. Christopher’s daughter, Alexandra Reeve Givens, will present the Spirit of Courage Award to Chuck Close. The Dana Reeve HOPE award will be presented by Will Reeve to Mike Richter and Brian Leetch, former members of his favorite team the New York Rangers. A special tribute will also be given to Lt. Renaldo Gonzales, a participant in the Foundation’s Military Outreach program. Also planned is a performance by a new Broadway show cast.
The 4th Annual “Making Magic Happen” gala on Dec.2 at the Beverly Hills Hilton will celebrate Jane Seymour with the 2008 Philanthropy Award and former Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt with the 2008 Visionary Leadership award. Co-chairs include last year’s honoree Robin Williams, Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi, Lisa and Dustin Hoffman, Janice and Billy Crystal, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas among others. Both Matthew Reeve and Alexandra Reeve Givens are actively involved in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation as members of the Board of Directors.