Kudos to the caterer Daryl and Irwin Simon selected for the Alzheimer’s Association Inaugural Fork It Alzheimer’s Farm-to-Table Event. Ronnie Davis Productions and Great Performances’ food was forkin’ fantastic; their presentation, sublime. “We really wanted it to be good,” said Nicolette Simon, who was among the Next Generation Chairs who filled the gala with the kind of accomplished 20 somethings that gave us hope for the future. Finding a cure for Alzheimer’s was the hope that filled their night.
The vegetable rich, fowl and fish menu supported the Alzheimer’s Association findings for brain health. There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s….yet. But, there are healthy ways to ward it off. For example, reducing hypertension can cut as many as one in five cases of the mild cognitive impairment that is the first step to dementia and Alzheimer’s. “This beautiful meal is right on path to the new knowledge,” President and CEO of the Association Harry Johns told the room.
“My mother-in-law just passed from it,” Daryl Simon, who founded and chaired the event with husband Irwin, told us. “My mother had it. So it has affected my husband and I. We have this farm. So I said, ‘Let’s do farm-to-table!’ You heard the message from the Alzeimer’s Organization about how we need brain health and how to take care of ourselves.”
Simon has chaired the Rita Hayworth gala. “I wanted to bring more awareness to the East End,” she continued. “When you start to talk about it, Alzheimer’s is everywhere. There are so many people here that live with it.” Money raised, she said will go to research, education and caregiving.
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, who has been championing the cause since 1981, usually is a part of the kick-off event Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney host for the October gala. “But, their daughter got married this summer,” she said. This evening was “another arm of the Alzheimer’s Association. Daryl has been on the committee for years, chaired their gala in the past, and raised much money, as she’s doing tonight with Irwin. We’re all family with the same goal.”
“It’s important to talk about Alzheimer’s. Denial is a big problem worldwide. It’s not a sexy disease. It’s ugly. The average age it strikes is 65. My mother [Rita Hayworth] was in her late 40s to early 50s when it struck. She had early onset and died at 68. So, it’s not just an old person’s disease. We need to talk about early onset.”
“There was a time when cancer was not discussed and nothing happened and everyone died,” Harry Johns told them room. “Once we got it discussed … we changed that. Today, 2/3 of people diagnosed with cancer survive.”
Spreading the word to the 25% of young juniors in the room was part of that mission. “Now my 24-year-old daughter is involved,” Daryl Simon said. “So, there’s a whole next gen here.”
“I watched both my grandmothers battle Alzheimer’s and dementia,” Nicolette Simon, told the room. “The Alzheimer’s Association not only supports the person living with dementia, but family and friends who deal with the daily impact that many of us know is so challenging.”
Joining her as Next Generation Chairs were: Lizzie and Paul Fine, Martin Meltzer and Matthew Sandberg.
Stacy Bash-Polley, and Robin and Roger Meltzer were Vice Chairs.
Harvest Sponsors were: Grossi Construction, Jefferies, Plants Product Corporation and Daryl & Irwin Simon. Seed sponsors were: Lauren & Martin Geller and Moelis & Company. Plow Sponsors: Bank of America Private Bank, Stacy Bash-Polley, BCG, Bulgin & Associaties, James W. Crystal, Robin & Roger Meltzer, Pamela & Stuart Rothenberg, Dora & Robert Sabbagh, Beth & Alan Singer.
For more information, visit www.alz.org.