Patty and Arthur Newman.

Patty, a former college instructor and fashion industry executive, and her husband Arthur Newman, former film producer and brother to Academy Award winning actor, Paul Newman, met Judy and Marshall Gelfand in Palm Springs in the early 1980s. The couples shared an interest in community service and a commitment to making the world a better place. Unfortunately, Judy’s fate didn’t cooperate. “Effervescent”— it’s how Patty Newman describes the late Judy Gelfand. Sadly, the irony of that description is not lost on Patty as she recalls the way Judy’s vivaciousness and ultimately, her life were stolen by Alzheimer’s disease. “Judy was a very ‘can-do’ type of gal,” Patty said. “Alzheimer’s disease robbed her of that ability. And in the end, took a great leader from society. ”

Patty and Judy were both active with the Palm Springs Art Museum, where Patty continues to play a role today. Although she has been involved with philanthropy and nonprofit work since college, Patty was further motivated by Judy’s activism. “Judy was a true inspiration for developing a relationship with a cause and sticking to it,” she said. After Judy’s death, Marshall approached Patty and Arthur to support The Judy Fund. Knowing Judy and others affected by Alzheimer’s, they did not hesitate to say yes. “I can’t imagine that there is anyone affected by this disease who isn’t immediately on board with joining the fight,” Patty said.

Through The Judy Fund, the Gelfand family has put the Alzheimer’s cause at the forefront in southern California. In addition to helping to create an immense amount of awareness around the disease, The Judy Fund has also made a national impact, raising nearly $5 million for the research, care, support and advocacy efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. “The Judy Fund is so very needed,” Arthur said. “I don’t think there’s a person today who hasn’t been touched in some way by Alzheimer’s. Everyone should support this cause to the extent their time and resources allow.” By contributing to The Judy Fund, Patty and Arthur are able to help fight the disease that is taking an enormous financial and emotional toll on society — the same society they have worked so hard over the years to improve. “We have got to get a handle on this disease. As a country, we’re aging. But we’re not aging as well as we should be,” said Patty. “There are more than five million people living with Alzheimer’s. That’s five million families who have to cope with the disease, the cost of caregiving and the associated stress. It’s devastating.”

As grateful as Patty and Arthur are for the Alzheimer’s Association and its supporters, including The Judy Fund, they know more progress is needed. “There has to be a greater power here. The government needs to take action. We’ve made some major headway, but we need to keep pushing. This country needs to focus on Alzheimer’s like it does cancer and AIDS,” she said. The Judy Fund helps to address the need for additional government support of the fight against Alzheimer’s by contributing to Alzheimer’s Association advocacy efforts. These initiatives ensure that necessary conversations about the disease continue to take place on Capitol Hill.

In addition to raising funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s, Patty is hopeful that the Gelfand family, and its multi-generational interest across siblings, nieces, nephews and new spouses, will help show a younger generation the importance of philanthropy and encourage them to follow in the footsteps of people like Judy, Marshall, Arthur and herself. “People of all ages need to have a better sense of the importance of developing a life that includes philanthropy. Whether it’s a volunteer role or a financial contribution, there are many ways to get involved. This is something that should continue through life,” Patty said. Patty and Arthur, along with Newman’s Own Foundation, have been pleased to contribute to The Judy Fund and its unwavering support of the Alzheimer’s Association and its vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.
 

 

Thank You Donors!

Thank you for your generous support in the fight against this devastating disease. Because of family members and friends like you, you help us strengthen our efforts to advance Alzheimer’s research, care and support.