Arthritis Foundation Hosts Successful 'Commitment to a Cure' Awards Event to Fund Arthritis Research

Nov 17, 2009, 11:47 ET from Arthritis Foundation, Southern California Chapter

Actor Al Pacino and Gary N. Holland, M.D. Receive Prestigious Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 22nd "Commitment to a Cure" Awards Gala successfully raised close to $650,000 to fund research to find a cure for arthritis, a disease affecting over 46 million adults (one in five) and nearly 300,000 children in the United States. Legendary actor Al Pacino and renowned ophthalmologist Gary N. Holland, M.D., received the prestigious Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award at the Beverly Wilshire hotel on Saturday, November 14th, before a crowd of more than 500 guests.

"There are two perks to being a celebrity," said Al Pacino as he accepted the Jane Wyman Humanitarian award. "One is being recognized as a celebrity; the second perk is being honored at events like this... and the second one is much better." Al Pacino has a history of charitable giving and supports of the mission of the Arthritis Foundation.

"The Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award is the highest honor given by the Southern California Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation," said Mitchell A. Jacobs, Chair of the Board, Southern California Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. "It is presented to individuals who exemplify the leadership, commitment and dedication to humanitarian causes that Ms. Wyman herself demonstrated in the fight to find a cure for arthritis and related diseases." He added, "We congratulate this year's honorees for their outstanding contributions to our communities."

Gary N. Holland, M.D., Professor of Ophthalmology and Chief of the Cornea and Uveitis Division of the Department of Ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was also honored with the Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award. Director of the Ocular Inflammatory Disease Center at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute, Dr. Holland is an international authority on infectious and inflammatory eye diseases including uveitis, a condition affecting many children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

The gala event included entertainment by "The Phantom's Leading Ladies", a trio of Broadway actresses, all of whom played the part of Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera."

About the Arthritis Foundation

Established in 1948, the Arthritis Foundation is the only national voluntary organization that works on behalf of people with all forms of arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation funds research to find cures and improve care, issues up-to-date information about arthritis and its treatment, and offers exercise and support groups for those with arthritis. For more information, please call 1.800.954.2873 (CURE) or visit

SOURCE Arthritis Foundation, Southern California Chapter