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In My Community
A Celebration of Courage & Hope
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On November 5th, friends and supporters joined us for the 4th annual Celebration of Courage & Hope, at the historic US Grant Hotel.  Since its inception, this event has been dedicated to honoring local San Diegans who have shown outstanding dedication to advancing care and cure in San Diego; this year was no different.

First and foremost, we must thank The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, SDG&E, Scripps Health, UCSD, and our other generous table sponsors for making this event possible.  And of course, it would not be an Alzheimer’s Association event without the unwavering support of our very own rock star in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease, Darlene Shiley.

Once again, we were honored to have Mayor Kevin Faulconer serve as Honorary Chair along with long-time friends and supporters Sheriff Bill Gore and Congressman Scott Peters. Sheriff Gore kicked-off the evening with a moving tribute to beloved Sheriff William B. Kolender, who lost his battle with Alzheimer’s disease just a few weeks ago.

As the evening progressed, the room swelled with emotion. Dry eyes were few and far between as we heard how Alzheimer’s disease had touched the lives of the evening’s key players: event chairs, Adam Day of The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Laura McDonald of SDG&E; emcee, News 8 Anchor Carlo Cecchetto; and the 2015 honorees, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, Dr. Lisa Heikoff of Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Michael Jackson and Dr. Thomas Chung of Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute and Rebecca Ellis, who since her mother’s diagnosis, has selflessly dedicated her life to caring for her parents.

Each courageous individual who took the stage had their own story to tell, but one message rang true throughout: There is a tremendous need for hands-on programs and services to help families and for a continued investment in local research for a cure.

With the support and combined efforts of the city and the county, local community leaders, our region’s premier research institutes and those who care deeply about this cause, we are making huge local strides and remain steadfast in our commitment.

The theme of the evening was Courage and Hope. We would like to thank each of you who shared in an evening that exemplified the power of our community to drive our efforts forward. Together we stand strong in the only fight that truly matters, putting an end to Alzheimer’s disease and serving families until we do so. Thank you for your support.

Event Chairs

Adam Day, Assistant Tribal Manager, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
Gregg Smith, President & COO, One Reverse Mortgage
Laura McDonald, Director, Public Affairs and Project Communications, SDG&E

Courage & Hope Award Recipients

  • Medical Professional:  Watch Video>>
    Lisa Heikoff, MD, Physician in Charge, Continuing Care Home Health, Palliative Care and Hospice
    Kaiser Permanente

  • Researcher: Watch Video>>
    Michael Jackson, PhD, Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery & Development, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute
    Thomas “TC” Chung, PhD, Director of Strategic Alliances & Partnerships, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

  • Awareness: Watch Video>>
    Dianne Jacob, San Diego County Supervisor, 2nd District

Masters of Ceremony

Carlo Cecchetto, CBS News 8 Anchor




Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.