David and Susan Axelrod gathered new friends and old to announce a historic partnership between their foundation for epilepsy research, CURE Epilepsy, and Autism Speaks at the Second Annual New York Benefit. Thirty percent of people with autism develop epilepsy as well, so for the first time, the two organizations will work together with the National Institutes for Health on brain research.
George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth were the MC’s and sponsors of the glitzy but sober event at the Sheraton New York. David Axelrod introduced Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking him to not run for president. The mayor praised CURE’s efforts to find scientific answers to the cause of epilepsy. The Axelrods also honored Suzanne and Bob Wright in their six-year battle to raise awareness for Autism.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were presented with CURE’s Excellence in Journalism Award to the sold out crowd that included Caroline Kennedy and Edward Schlossberg, Harvey Weinstein and Georgia Chapman, Kevin Sheekey, Lally Weymouth, Lee and Bob Woodruff, Marc Adelman, Joanna Milstein and John and Donna Marino.
Peter Sagal, from “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me,” was the evening’s auctioneer, and pointed out if you need “to wheedle money from people bring someone in from NPR.”
Donnie Deutch, attended the event after being nudged by Mika to make a donation. He won a trip to the Emmys in the Fund a CURE auction.
Dr. Schlomo Shinnar, from Albert Einstein’s School of Medicine, received the Leadership in Epilepsy Award.