WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LFA – The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) today announced the honorees for the Second Annual New York City Butterfly Gala to be held on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. The LFA will honor: Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saks Fifth Avenue, and Natalie Morales, NBC News Anchor, “Today” and Co-host, Third Hour, for their leadership and dedication to increasing public awareness of lupus and its impact on the quality of life for an estimated 1.5 million Americans and nearly 100,000 individuals in New York living with the disease. Funds raised at the LFA Butterfly Gala will strengthen the LFA’s National Research Program, Bringing Down the Barriers™, and further expand local education and support services in the Greater New York area.
“The Butterfly Gala is an opportunity for us to shine a light on lupus and show appreciation for the innovative leaders in the fields of fashion, media, and science who are devoting their time and talents to make a difference in the lives of all people affected by lupus,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “Their efforts are helping to increase awareness and understanding of lupus, and to reflect the urgent need to elevate this disease on the nation’s health care agenda.”
The 2011 LFA New York City Butterfly Gala honorees:
Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Saks Fifth Avenue, will receive the LFA’s Butterfly of Hope—Corporate Leadership Award for Saks’ long-standing partnership with the LFA, and the company’s financial support which has helped the LFA expand its reach and capacity to serve those most in need.
Natalie Morales, NBC News Anchor, “Today” and Co-host, Third Hour, will receive the LFA’s Butterfly of Hope —Community Investment Award for her personal interest in, and NBC’s focus on, increasing public awareness of issues touching the lives of women and children, which is of critical and shared importance to the LFA mission.
New York City is home to many of the world’s leading lupus researchers. The LFA will pay tribute to their accomplishments in advancing the science and medicine of lupus, and their role in helping to develop new, safer, and more tolerable treatments. The LFA also will be joined by musician and philanthropist Julian Lennon, who also serves as LFA Global Ambassador to present the first Lucy Vodden Research Grant Award. The research initiative was established last year in honor of Lennon’s childhood friend, Lucy Vodden, who lost her battle with lupus in September of 2009.
GRAMMY®-nominated recording artist Oleta Adams will share her personal story of living with lupus, and perform several of her lively and memorable hit songs as part of the evening’s moving and uplifting program. ABC News Correspondent Deborah Roberts will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Among the LFA’s special guests will be Gayle King, talk show host and editor-at-large, O, The Oprah Magazine, who will present the award to Mr. Sadove.
The LFA New York City Butterfly Gala is the companion event to the LFA’s National Butterfly Gala held each year in Washington, DC. The Butterfly Galas raise the profile of lupus, generate critically important LFA program funding, and encourage greater public and private investments in life-saving research, education, advocacy, and support services.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system is unbalanced, causing inflammation and tissue damage to virtually any organ in the body. Lupus can be unpredictable and potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment or cure exists. An estimated 1.5 million Americans and at least five million people worldwide have a form of lupus. Its health effects include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, miscarriages, and organ failure.
About the Lupus Foundation of America
The LFA is the nation’s foremost nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. The LFA and its network of chapters, branches, and support groups conduct programs of research, education, and advocacy.
Editor’s Note: Space is limited. Media interested in attending the LFA’s New York City Butterfly Gala are required to pre-register. Please visit www.lupus.org/gala to register, or contact Maggie Maloney.