NEW YORK, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 700 members of New York City's philanthropic, business and health care communities will join forces as the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation hosts "Life Without Lupus Gala 2011: A Night at the Museum" on November 21, 2011 at The American Museum of Natural History. This year's black tie gala, hosted by Willie Geist, Co-Host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, will herald the organization's quantum leap taking place in lupus research and is expected to raise over $2 million.
U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg and Mrs. Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg will be honored for helping to make lupus a national priority. Daniel J. Wallace (MD, FACP, FACR), founder of Lupus LA, will be presented with the Foundation's Medical Leadership Award for his contributions to lupus clinical research.
The festivities include a cocktail hour, dinner, and awards presentation. Governor Mario Cuomo and Mrs. Matilda Cuomo, Sir Deryck and Lady Va Maughan, Peter and Leni May, and Jessye Norman are among the many New York notables attending.
Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and activist Carole King will perform a "tapestry" of her songs honoring all people living with lupus. A live auction conducted by Jamie Niven, renowned auctioneer of Sotheby's, will allow participants to support specific cutting-edge studies at world-renowned institutions.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg serves as Honorary Dinner Chair. This year's Dinner Chairs are Jennie & Richard DeScherer; Morrie Golick; Susan Golick & Alan Wasserman; Phyllis & William Mack; Fern & Lenard Tessler; Carol & Michael Weisman; and Lois & Andrew Zaro.
Margaret G. Dowd, Executive Director of the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, said, "Because lupus is dangerous and destructive, we must be even more relentless in our fight. We are proud to honor Senator Lautenberg, Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg and Dr. Wallace for their inspiring efforts to help achieve a Life Without Lupus. We also like thank Carole King for letting lupus patients know they've got a friend with her pro-bono performance."
A devastating autoimmune disease, lupus affects 1.5 million Americans, 90 percent of who are women with a two to three times greater risk among women of color.
SOURCE S.L.E. Lupus Foundation