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Opinion

The Crowd: Gala benefits Alzheimer’s research at UC Irvine

UCI Mind honorees
The 2019 UCI MIND honoree Harriet Harris of Newport Beach with UCI MIND Director Joshua D. Grill.
(Laurel Hungerford)

Alzheimer’s disease is the third-leading cause of death in Orange County. More than 80,000 O.C. residents are fighting the ravages the disease inflicts on the mind and body.

At the forefront in the area of research and treatment is UC Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, known as UCI MIND.

“Cutting-edge research performed at UCI MIND is essential in the race to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Joshua Grill, director of UCI MIND. “This work is as important locally as it is nationally.”

Grill’s comments were central to the focus of the 10th annual gathering of advocates and donors making a difference in this scientific challenge over the holidays at a gala evening billed as “December to Remember” at Balboa Bay Resort. The crowd raised a record $473,240 to assist Grill and team with progress at UCI MIND.

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Singer-songwriter Ashley Campbell, daughter of the late country-pop star Glenn Campbell, who suffered from Alzheimer’s and shared his struggle at the end of his life publicly, performed.

Honored guests included Harriet Harris, president of Harris Taylor Management Inc., which was instrumental in bringing in significant research funding via the gala.

Also honored was Betty’s Foundation for the Elimination of Alzheimer’s Disease, which was presented with the Community Leadership Award.

Major presenting sponsorship was provided by the Brethren Community Foundation with further financial underwriting coming from Julia and George Argyros, Harriet and Bill Harris, Kathy and Chris Taylor, and Joe Gonzalez, in honor of Barbara Gonzalez.

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Over the past decade, UCI MIND has raised in excess of $2 million at the annual dinner with all funds going directly to Alzheimer’s research.

Without major medical advancement in the coming few years, it is estimated that more than 16 million Americans will fall victim to the Alzheimer’s disease by 2050.

For more information, visit: https://www.mind.uci,.edu/research-studies/c2c-registry/.


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