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Alzheimer’s Association Imagine Benefit, an Evening of Song and Storytelling, Raised More Than $600,000 for Alzheimer’s Care, Support and Research Programs

Alzheimer’s Association Imagine Benefit, an Evening of Song and Storytelling, Raised More Than $600,000 for Alzheimer’s Care, Support and Research Programs
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November 17, 2021
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Performers included Krystal Joy Brown, Tamar Greene, Meghan Picerno, Oliver Kennan, a classic string quartet with Caitlin Sullivan, Alex Fortes, Katie Hyun, and Kyle Armbrust, former Juilliard Jazz students of Wynton Marsalis, with music direction by Dan Micciche

NEW YORK, November, 17, 2021 — The Alzheimer’s Association Imagine Benefit, built on the legacy of the Rita Hayworth Gala, was held on Monday, November 15 at New York’s iconic Jazz at Lincoln Center. The evening of song and storytelling raised more than $600,000 to fund critical Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs and brought awareness to Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects more than 6 million Americans and more than 11 million caregivers. The event was hosted by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of Rita Hayworth, and the gala’s founder and general chair. Karyn Kornfeld, Steven Kobre, Deanna Rockefeller and Gregory Smith served as chairs for the event.

Building on Rita Hayworth’s legacy as a Hollywood performer, the two-part evening began with a cocktail hour, which was followed by a seated dinner accompanied with performances from some of New York City’s finest performing artists including Krystal Joy Brown (currently Eliza Schuyler in Hamilton), Tamar Greene (currently George Washington in Hamilton), Meghan Picerno (currently Christine Daae in Phantom of the Opera), indie-soul artist/singer-songwriter Oliver Kennan, a classic string quartet including Caitlin Sullivan, Alex Fortes, Katie Hyun, and Kyle Armbrust, and former Juilliard Jazz students of Wynton Marsalis, all under the music direction and accompanied by Dan Micciche (currently Music Director and conductor for Wicked).

Guests enjoyed dinner and performances all while taking in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s stunning views of Columbus Circle, Central Park and New York City. The evening opened with a video montage of Rita Hayworth’s most iconic film performances, followed by welcome remarks from Princess Yasmin Aga Khan who thanked guests for their long and tireless support of the cause, “the fight to end Alzheimer’s hasn’t stopped, and neither have we.” Alzheimer's Association CEO Harry Johns later noted, “I believe we have more momentum than ever before for a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”

Alexandra Soffer, a member of the Alzheimer’s Association New York City Chapter Board of Directors, delivered a powerful Mission Moment, sharing her family’s connection to the disease through her late father, retired Army Colonel Tom Bowden’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s, in 2015. Soffer spoke about her journey with the Alzheimer’s Association, saying the organization is, “where I found my people, my safe place.” Chair Karyn Kornfeld closed the evening with remarks on joining the event’s committee almost 25 years ago when her grandmother passed away with Alzheimer’s, calling the cause “a place to channel my anger and frustration into desperately finding a cure for this devastating disease.”

Incredible gift bags for the evening were curated, designed and donated by Josie Natori and included additional products from Peter Thomas Roth and Ubah Hassan. The event was generously underwritten by Rolex Watch USA.

The Imagine Benefit Vice Chairs include Joseph Boitano, Brooke and Oliver Kennan, Naeem Khan, David Hyde Pierce and Brian Hargrove, Nicole Sexton, and Martha Webster.

The Imagine Benefit Host Committee includes Sharon Bush, Diandra Douglas, Emily and Jon Gelb, Louise and Stephen Kornfeld, Anne Hearst McInerney, Robin and Roger Meltzer, Peter Thomas Roth, and Jennifer and Lonnie Wollin.

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan (Gala Founder and General Chair)
Karyn Kornfeld & Steven Kobre (Gala Chairs)
Deanna Rockefeller (Gala Chair)
Gregory Smith (Gala Chair)
Joseph Boitano (Vice Chair)
Brooke & Oliver Kennan (Vice Chair)
Naeem Khan (Vice Chair)
Nicole Sexton (Vice Chair)
Martha Webster (Vice Chair)
Emily Gelb (Host Committee)
Robin & Roger Meltzer (Host Committee)
Peter Thomas Roth (Host Committee)
Jennifer & Lonnie Wollin (Host Committee)
Harry Johns (CEO, Alzheimer's Association)
Joanne Pike (President, Alzheimer’s Association)
Krystal Joy Brown
Tamar Greene
Meghan Picerno
Oliver Kennan
Caitlin Sullivan
Chele Farley
Ubah Hassan
Michele Herbert
Lucia Hwong Gordon
Francine LeFrak
Paulina Porizkova
Andrew Roosevelt
Kara Ross
George Yancopoulos
Jean Shafiroff
Hunt Slonem

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About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

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