On November 3, 2014, former model and restaurateur B. Smith was honored by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) at its Fifth Annual Fall Symposium & Luncheon “Hope on the Horizon” at The Pierre in New York City. Smith, who publicly revealed her early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis in June, was presented with The Charles Evans Award at the Luncheon for using her powerful platform to promote public awareness and raise critical funds to combat Alzheimer’s disease.
Smith graciously accepted the award in a purple dress, the official color of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, with her husband and long-time business partner Dan Gasby by her side. During her speech, Smith became overwhelmed with emotion and her husband stepped in to finish, saying, “Sweetie prepared a speech, but we’ll just speak from the heart quickly.” Gasby went on to say that instead of starting their own foundation, they decided to support ADDF because, “We wanted to go where we knew the dollars were going to be used most judiciously and with the greatest amount of intellectual capabilities.”
Following the award presentation, Emmy Award-winning journalist Paula Zahn conducted an informative onstage interview with Dr. Howard Fillit, the ADDF’s Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer, and Dr. Michael W. Weiner, a Professor of Medicine, Radiology, Psychiatry and Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco; Principal Investigator of the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI).
Leonard A. Lauder, the ADDF's Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, closed out the event by thanking guests for coming and telling them, “This is a passion. And it’s passion and drive that get things done. And we’ll get this done for you!”
The event began with a morning presentation from Dr. Fillit, entitled “Conquering Alzheimer’s Disease: A Progress Report.” Dr. Fillit shared an insider’s view of the latest news in the field of Alzheimer’s drug development and discussed aging and prevention, and what individuals can do today to protect their lifelong cognitive vitality.
The event raised more than $860,000 to support Alzheimer's drug research and related programs.