MDA New York Muscle Team Readies for 22nd Annual Gala

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by Mary Chapman |

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To raise money for treatments and to support families touched by muscular dystrophy, the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) New York Muscle Team will present its 22nd annual gala Dec. 3 in New York City.

To be held at Cipriana Wall Street, the event will feature former New York Yankees shortstop and five-time World Series champion Derek Jeter, who now is CEO and part owner of the Miami Marlins Major League Baseball team. Jeter also is founder of the Turn 2 Foundation, which encourages young people to pursue healthful lifestyles.

“The dedication of the MDA team to their mission and to their families is impressive,” Jeter said in a press release. “This organization is making a real difference, and I’m looking forward to celebrating that at the gala.”

At the event, Jeter will sit for a “fireside chat” with venerable New York sportscaster Russ Salzburg, who  also is on the gala’s committee.

Since its inception, the MDA New York Muscle Team Gala has featured its share of glitterati — typically professional athletes and other high-profile personalities — who demonstrate support for MDA families in their quest for cures for muscular dystrophy. Paul Darrah, director of real estate at Google, is this year’s muscle team “coach.” Darrah, who is responsible for overseeing all aspects of real estate strategy, design and development in New York, will be joined by other real estate leaders.

To date, the affair has raised more than $20 million for research and summer camps for young patients. This year’s theme is “Dream Big.”

Gala honorees will include the Hamad family, which has lost three sons to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). In an effort to help others whose lives are touched by muscular dystrophy, the Hamads have been working to increase awareness and raise research funds. They will receive the Russ Salzberg Champion of Hope Award.

Receiving the Jerry Lewis Champion of Spirit Award will be Richard C. Heller, president of Titanium Scaffold Services.

“This event galvanizes the New York City real estate community and generates funds for our 150 care centers, our signature National summer camp program as well as additional family programs, and most importantly, the efforts put against finding treatments and cures,” said Lynn O’Connor Vos, MDA president and CEO.

Tickets range from $950 to $50,000, and may be purchased here, or by calling Samantha Tutsi at (212) 682-5272.  The $100,000 “fireside chat” class sponsorships have been sold out. For those unable to attend, donations are accepted.

Since 1950, the MDA has been devoted to saving and enhancing the lives of individuals who have muscular dystrophy and related diseases. Muscular dystrophy is a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

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