2006 Shady Ladies Luncheon

Celebrity Sunglasses Add Horse Power to First "Shady Ladies Luncheon"

New York, NY, March 9, 2006 - The 34th Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida provided a charming setting for the inaugural "Shady Ladies Luncheon" on March 4th to benefit the Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the leading sponsor of innovative, novel research to prevent, treat and cure lupus. More than 120 guests gathered in "The Shady Ladies Chalet," a pavilion in the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club that is adjacent to the festival's grand prix field. It offered a great vantage point for watching the prestigious horse show's young jumpers and joining in the fun of the luncheon's celebrity sunglasses auction.

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system–normally our natural defense against disease–becomes overactive and forms antibodies that attack and damage vital organs and tissues such as the skin, brain, heart, lungs, blood and kidneys. Lupus afflicts 1.5 million Americans, 90 percent of whom are women.

The theme of the "Shady Ladies Luncheon" reflects a common symptom of lupus: extreme sensitivity to the sun. Doctors advise people with lupus to stay in the shade, use sun block, hats and sunglasses. The auction featured autographed celebrity sunglasses from Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Tommy Lee Jones, Carole King, Tom Selleck, Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw, Christine Lahti, Eve, Badgley Mischka, Law & Order stars Richard Belzer and Mariska Hargitay, among others. Guests also received complementary skincare products from Neiman Marcus and Kiehl's (underwritten by Debi and Lou Dobbs).

The "Shady Ladies Luncheon" is poised to become a yearly festival highlight, thanks to the work of Marley Goodman of Palm Beach and Clara Lindner of Cincinnati, who co-chaired the event with Honorary Chairs Marcella and Peter Leone, and Vice-Chairs Angela and Chris Paradysz, and Teri and John Wood.

While the event was clearly a hit within the adult equestrian community, junior riders Katie Dinan, as well as Allie and Dani Paradysz, created their own spontaneous fundraiser by securing prize winnings from fellow riders in the pony hunter division. Through that weekend, they raised over $1,000 and, in an extremely poignant moment, presented the donation to LRI President, Margaret Dowd. The website, www.apjkponypage.com, continues to accept donations.

About the Lupus Research Institute

Pioneering Discovery to prevent, treat and cure lupus. The Lupus Research Institute (LRI), the country’s only nonprofit organization singularly devoted to novel research in lupus, champions innovation, encourages scientific creativity and risks exploring uncharted territory to bring new scientific solutions to the complex and dangerous autoimmune disease of lupus.  Founded by families and shaped by scientists, the Institute mandates sound science and rigorous peer review to uncover and support only the highest ranked novel research. Its bold and proven research strategy places the LRI at the forefront of lupus science as the Institute consistently achieves the breakthrough discoveries, novel insights and solid results that are changing the course of lupus research and bringing new hope to people with lupus nationwide.

For more information about the LRI, www.LupusResearchInstitute.org.