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Around & About the Community

Bal du Printemps

The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation’s (PDF) annual gala, Bal du Printemps, will be held on Wednesday, May 14, 2008, at The Pierre Hotel in New York City.  Led by Honorary Chairs Page Morton Black, Amy Goldman and Judith Sulzberger, this gathering of PDF friends and supporters will honor several outstanding leaders of the Parkinson’s disease community and raise funds for PDF’s programs of research, education and public advocacy.

This year’s event will include cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction.  PDF is grateful for the leadership of John Connolly, Ed.D., who will serve as the 2008 Dinner Chair.  The night will also feature an awards presentation recognizing Dr. Lewis P. Rowland, PDF’s President since 1979, and Mel and Carol Taub and family, major supporters of PDF for more than a decade. 

Dr. Rowland will receive PDF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, in appreciation of his commitment to PDF and his outstanding leadership in the science and practice of neurology at Columbia University.  As Chair of the Department of Neurology for more than 25 years, Dr. Rowland played a major role in building the department into the powerhouse it is today.  Dr. Rowland was also the person who recruited to Columbia Dr. Stanley Fahn, who is the world’s leading figure in Parkinson’s science and clinical practice.  Dr. Rowland is the editor of Merritt’s Textbook of Neurology, the leading textbook in his field, and serves as Chief Editor of Neurology Today.

The Taub family, in turn, will be receiving the Page and William Black Humanitarian Award for their long and devoted service to Parkinson’s science through their support of PDF.   Mr. Taub has served as a member of PDF’s Board of Directors since 1999, and he and his wife Carol, along with their daughters Stefani Gurkoff and Jill Drury, have raised more than $500,000 to support PD research through PDF.  In addition, from 2003 through 2006, Mr. Taub led a successful $6 million campaign to modernize the Parkinson’s disease laboratories at Columbia University.

For additional information on Bal du Printemps, or to make a reservation to attend, contact Carla Capone at (212) 213-1166 or

Robin Elliott Appointed to Empire State Stem Cell Board

On July 26, 2007, NY State Governor Eliot Spitzer appointed Robin Elliott, PDF’s Executive Director, to the Empire State Stem Cell Board.

This 24-member board, composed of people from widely diverse backgrounds, including scientists, health care leaders, scholars, business people and private citizens, is charged with the oversight and administration of the Empire State Stem Cell Trust Fund.  The fund has been granted $600 million over 11 years to promote stem cell research and development, including an initial appropriation of $100 million for 2007–2008.  Stem cells hold promise for treating Parkinson’s and other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, blindness, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The Board will consist of both a Funding Committee and an Ethics Committee; Mr. Elliott will serve on the former.  PDF’s President, Dr. Lewis P. Rowland, commented, “As an advocate for people living with Parkinson’s disease and as a longtime supporter of great science, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation applauds this initiative of the State of New York to discover the potential of stem cell research.”