December 2012

Lupus Gala 2012 Raises $2.5 Million in One Night —
To Keep Turning Lupus Research Upside Down!

Lupus is particularly adept at turning lives inside out — patients, families and friends. But the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and the Lupus Research Institute deliver the most cutting-edge science and direct patient services that turn lives around nationwide.

The Gala celebrated the extraordinary results we’ve achieved in attacking lupus from all angles for 42 years. Over 700 people filled the American Museum of Natural History for the largest single lupus event in the country and raised unparalleled funds in one spectacular night. Gala 2012 honorees Fern and Lenard Tessler led that charge with their long-standing commitment to supporting the most creative and innovative research as the best way they could help when lupus devastated family and friends.

Pictured above are people critical to our success in producing the decade’s greatest breakthrough advances and championing the needs of patients throughout the country: S.L.E. Lupus Foundation President Richard DeScherer; Board member Jennie DeScherer; Gala 2012 Honorary Dinner Chair Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Gala 2012 Honorees Fern and Lenard Tessler.

In keeping with our mission to accelerate discovery in lupus treatment and cure, this year’s Scientific Leadership Award went to industry trailblazer Dr. Henry Hess, EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Germany. Dr. Hess spearheaded a new, unprecedented innovative collaboration between industry and the LRI private sector research.


Five-time Tony award winner Audra McDonald (above left) captivated the audience with her artistry, and NBC-TV’s new Today Show co-host Willie Geist once again graciously MC’d the evening.

Addressing the crowd, Honorary Dinner Chair Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (above right) noted, “The work of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and the LRI over the past several decades has greatly contributed to helping our city assume a leadership role in lupus research worldwide.”

The media response to the event has been overwhelming with coverage in such publications as The New York Times and the New York Observer.

All photos credit unless otherwise noted.