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Around and About the Community

PDF Gala Honors Leading Parkinson's Scientist and World-Renowned Musician

More than 400 people gathered on Wednesday, May 17 at New York City's Pierre Hotel for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation's (PDF) annual Bal du Printemps, a gala affair to raise money for PDF's research programs. Total proceeds topped $600,000, and the capacity crowd witnessed moving tributes to Dr. Stanley Fahn, PDF's Scientific Director and world-renowned researcher, and Lukas Foss, the eminent composer, conductor, pianist and educator who lives with Parkinson's disease.

Master of Ceremonies Len Berman set the stage as he welcomed guests in his playful and warm manner. Following Mr. Berman was PDF's Executive Director Robin Elliott, who thanked the crowd and read some prepared remarks from the beloved Chairman of the PDF Board, Page Morton Black, who was unable to attend the event. In her comments, Mrs. Black acknowledged the many individuals who helped make the evening a success.

After a sumptuous dinner, Dr. Oliver Sacks, noted neurologist and author of Awakenings, presented Lukas Foss with the inaugural Isobel Robins Konecky Creativity Award, recognizing his distinguished musical career and his strength and courage as a person who lives with Parkinson's disease. This award is named after a friend of both the arts and of PDF, Isobel Robins Konecky. Mrs. Konecky has long been active with the Parkinson's Disease Foundation and is currently Secretary of its Board of Directors.

Mr. Foss is the Music Director of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony. He has taught composition at Tanglewood, and has been composer-in-residence at Harvard, the Manhattan School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University and currently, Boston University. In 1983, he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, of which he is now a Vice Chancellor. Mr. Foss warmed the room with a performance on the piano, playing his own version of "New York, New York" and a Chopin Nocturne.

Drs. Lewis Rowland and Timothy Pedley then joined forces to present Dr. Stanley Fahn with the Page and William Black Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his service to the Parkinson's community for more than three decades. He is the H. Houston Merritt Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). In addition to publishing ground-breaking PD research (such as a recent landmark study showing that levodopa does not hasten the clinical progression of Parkinson's and may actually slow it down), Dr. Fahn sees a full schedule of patients, runs conferences, participates in dozens of scientific panels and supervises a group of talented post-doctoral fellows, the future leaders of his field.

As PDF's Scientific Director, Dr. Fahn plays an integral role in shaping our research and education programs. He was also Chair of the recent World Parkinson Congress 2006 in Washington, DC, which provided an international forum for the best scientific discoveries, medical practices and caregiver initiatives related to Parkinson's disease.

PDF thanks all who attended the event and all who contributed to its success. In particular, we thank this year's Gala Chairs Karen Burke Goulandris, M.D., Ph.D. and Isobel Robins Konecky; Honorary Chairs Page Morton Black and Judith Sulzberger, M.D.; Silent Auction Chair Arlene Levine and Corporate Chairs John and Marianne Castle, John and Margo Catsimatidis and Alan and Kathy Greenberg.

PDF Welcomes New Board Members

The Parkinson's Disease Foundation proudly announces the election of two new members to its Board of Directors: Peter Dorn and Marshall Loeb.

Peter Dorn, co-owner of New York City's legendary Copacabana nightclub, is a well-known businessman and is active in several local area charities. In 2003, Mr. Dorn began his work with PDF when he offered to host an annual fundraiser to raise much-needed funds for Parkinson's disease research. He continues to serve as Co-Chair for this event and, as a person who lives with Parkinson's, is instrumental in the planning and success of the yearly benefit that has raised nearly half a million dollars for PDF's research programs.

Mr. Dorn serves on the Board of Directors for Variety/The Children's Charity, a non-profit dedicated to raising essential funds for the care and support of disadvantaged, physically challenged, sick and needy children around the world. He also works with Forward Face, an organization that helps children with craniofacial conditions and their families find immediate support to manage the medical and social effects of facial differences. Mr. Dorn is a member of the New York Friars Club and serves on the Board of Directors of Paul Smith's College in Northern New York. He resides in Caldwell, NJ.

Marshall Loeb is a personal finance pioneer and has been Managing Editor of two successful magazines, Fortune and Money. Under his leadership, Money became the fastest growing magazine in America and Fortune was the first business magazine to win the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. A previous Business & Economy Editor of Time magazine, Mr. Loeb has been cited by the New York Times as "one of the most visible and influential editors in the magazine industry."

Mr. Loeb currently writes a column, entitled "Your Dollars," about personal finance, the stock market and the economy for CBS MarketWatch, an online financial news and analysis service, and is a member of the Advisory Board of MarketWatch.com. He serves as a broadcast commentator for the CBS Radio Network and the television show Marketing Weekend. His "You Inc" column runs biweekly in Fortune and his "Your Money" column is syndicated weekly to newspapers across the US.

In July 2005, Mr. Loeb was one of three individuals living with Parkinson's who were named to serve on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Parkinson's disease patient consultant program. This program seeks to bring the patient perspective to the development of new Parkinson's disease therapies.

Recently Mr. Loeb lent his expertise and personal knowledge to PDF as a member of the 2006 World Parkinson Congress (WPC) Subcommittee on Creativity and Parkinson's. This subcommittee was responsible for an exhibition featured at the WPC in February that showcased art and other creative work from 186 people who live with Parkinson's disease from 13 different countries.

Mr. Loeb was previously Editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Bagehot Fellows Program at Columbia University. A former president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, Mr. Loeb was named one of the top business reporters of the 20th century by the TJFR Group. He has authored 14 books, most recently 52 Weeks to Financial Fitness, and is a Director of Priceline.com, a major e-commerce company. Mr. Loeb lives with his wife in Scarsdale, NY.

PDF warmly welcomes these two accomplished individuals to serve on our Board of Directors.