Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney once again generously hosted this year’s Annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala Hamptons Kick-off Cocktail Party at their beautiful Ashgrove Farm estate in Water Mill. Attendees included Founder and Gala Chair Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, actress Lauren Miller Rogen, actor Bob Balaban, music legend Roger Waters, sports star Brendan Shanahan and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, among other familiar Hamptons notables.
An iconic star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Rita Hayworth was afflicted with the disease prematurely in her 50s, although early on it was misdiagnosed as alcoholism and then described as senile dementia. Cared for in the waning years of her life by her daughter, the Princess Yasmin Aga Khan has been a tireless supporter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s work and this year will mark her 31st year as host of the gala in her mother’s name to be held once again at the iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. To date, under Aga Khan’s leadership, more than $63 million has been raised for the Alzheimer’s Association through the Rita Hayworth Galas.
Princess Yasmin’s passion for this cause is infectious and she remains a devoted advocate for research to find a cure and support for the millions of families affected by this devastating disease. In a past interview the Princess told me, “The average age is 65, but my mother started in her 50s, so she had the early onset of Alzheimer’s, but we didn’t even have the name for it in those days. I have personally met people in their 40s with Alzheimer’s. It is worldwide and it is a dreadful disease, but particularly for the caregiver because they have such tormenting and incredibly difficult responsibilities.”
Other guests in attendance at this year’s Rita Hayworth Hamptons Kick-off Cocktail Party included NY Police Commissioner William Bratton and Rikki Klieman Bratton, CSO of the Alzheimer’s Association Angela Geiger, Mark Locks of Tiger J LLC, Gala Steering Committee members Nicole Sexton, Cornelia Bregman, Sharon Bush, Liliana Cavendish, Chele Chiavacci, Somers Farkas, Nurit Kahane Haase, Karyn Kornfeld, Louise Kornfeld, Robin Meltzer, Margo MacNabb Nederlander, Marlyne Sexton and Martha Webster, along with Young Leadership Committee members Lizzie Meltzer and Noah Samuels, Blaise Labriola, Alexandra Lebenthal, Bettina Zilkha, Peggy Siegal, Francine LeFrak, Jonathan Farkas, Stephen Kornfeld, Steve Kobre, and Tracy Sexton to name a few.
This year’s Gala Honorees will be the Kornfeld Family for the Family Philanthropy Award and Mark Locks will receive the Champion Award for their unwavering support of the Alzheimer’s Association. The 2014 Rita Hayworth Gala will take place on October 21st in the Waldorf-Astoria’s Grand Ballroom starting with cocktails and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. A superb charity worthy of all of our considerations, as literally all of us will know someone in our lifetime that will be affected by Alzheimer’s.