NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) held its annual Hope Rising Benefit on Wednesday night, raising more than $2 million in support of the organization's mission. AFTD is the country's leading nonprofit focused on FTD, the most common form of dementia for people under 60. The organization focuses its work on advancing research and improving the quality of life for all affected by FTD.
Frontotemporal degeneration causes irreversible changes to a person's behavior, personality, language, and/or movement, while leaving memory relatively preserved. Currently there are no approved disease-modifying treatments for FTD, which affects more than 60,000 people in the United States. Early onset of the disease, coupled with delays in diagnosis, often results in devastating damage to family relationships and financial health.
More than 550 attended the event at The Pierre Hotel in New York, including people living with FTD, care partners, health professionals, researchers and philanthropists – all with the common goal of realizing a world with compassionate support, effective care and a future free of FTD. The funds raised will play a vital role in advancing collaborative research; increased awareness; essential support for those directly impacted; education for healthcare professionals; and advocacy for appropriate, affordable services.
Speakers at Hope Rising included Rome Hartman, Producer for 60 Minutes, and Benefit Chair Donald E. Newhouse, who lost both his wife, Susan Newhouse, and brother, Si Newhouse, to the disease.
"My lovely Suzy and my brother Si had a variant of FTD," said Donald E. Newhouse. "I am committed to doing what I can to advance AFTD's mission so that those affected by the disease, and their caregivers, will not suffer."
AFTD honored Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan with the Susan Newhouse and Si Newhouse Award of Hope in recognition of Bank of America's sustained philanthropic commitment to AFTD's mission.
"My teammates at Bank of America and I are honored to receive this recognition," said Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. "We are pleased to support a cause that means so much to Donald and his family. AFTD's important work provides focus on a disease about which experts still know so little, and which is still so little-known."
The evening began with $1.916 million raised. In accepting his award, Mr. Moynihan surprised the room by pledging an additional $100,000 in Bank of America support. This brought the Benefit's total raised to more than $2 million, making it the most successful fundraising event in AFTD's history.
AFTD's CEO Susan L-J Dickinson added: "We're so grateful to Brian and Bank of America for their support and leadership for this year's Benefit. The generosity displayed here this evening empowers AFTD's Board to set ambitious goals for what we can achieve in the years ahead, on behalf of the community we serve."
About AFTD's 2019 Hope Rising Benefit: AFTD thanks Benefit Chair Donald E. Newhouse, Benefit Co-chairs Katy Knox, Anna Wintour and David Zaslav, and Benefit Vice Chairs Daniel Hedaya, Kathy Newhouse Mele and Brian Rose. Tony- and Grammy-nominated star Joshua Henry closed the evening with a musical performance. Paula Zahn, Emmy Award–winning journalist, Executive Producer and Host of Investigation Discovery's On the Case with Paula Zahn hosted the event for the fourth year in a row. Since 2016, the Benefit has raised nearly $8 million in support of AFTD's mission. Through the generosity of the evening's leadership, 100% of the funds raised through the Benefit go directly to support AFTD's mission.
Approved photos of the benefit can be found through this link.
About AFTD: With support from our donors and volunteers, the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) is the leading nonprofit working to improve the quality of life of people affected by FTD and to drive research to bring hope for a world with compassionate care, effective support, and a future free of this disease. We work every day to advance collaborative research, help and support all directly impacted by FTD, raise awareness and educate healthcare professionals, while advocating for appropriate, affordable services.
SOURCE The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration