Evening of Hope Fundraising Gala Will Honor Dr. William H. Danforth

April 16, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
St. Louis, Missouri, USA … Dr. William H. Danforth, Chancellor Emeritus of Washington University, will be presented with the inaugural Christopher Hobler Spirit of Hope Award at an Evening of Hope, a gala dinner and concert Monday, May 14, 2007 at Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, honoring Dr. Danforth’s support of medical research of neurological diseases.

The third annual Evening of Hope will star world renowned pianist Misha Dichter appearing with concertmaster David Halen and members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. The artists are graciously donating their talents in tribute to the two individuals who inspired this annual fundraising event: Chris Hobler and former St. Louis Symphony Music Director Hans Vonk, who were victims of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jean Hobler and Jessie Vonk are Honorary Co-Chairs of the event, organized by Hope Happens (http://www.hopehappens.org).

“Hope Happens is hosting this magnificent evening to generate support for translational research of new treatments and cures for neurological diseases now being conducted at The Hope Center for Neurological Disorders at Washington University,” said Event Chair Nancy Galvin. “This event helps create awareness of The Hope Center and generates necessary funds to continue promising research into finding treatments and cures for neurological diseases,” she said.

As Chancellor of Washington University for 24 years, Dr. Danforth set a new course for the university’s future and completed its transition from a local college to a national research university. He established 70 new faculty chairs, built a $1.72 billion endowment, oversaw funding and construction of many new buildings, and tripled the number of scholarships for students. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Danforth was named Chancellor Emeritus by the Washington University Board of Trustees in 1999.

The dedicated scientists at The Hope Center for Neurological Disorders (http://www.hcnd.org) conduct and share research to find cures for brain diseases and disorders including ALS, Alzheimer’s, brain and spinal injuries, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and stroke. The Hope Center’s unique cross-disease research strategy takes advantage of disease-related commonalities and economies of scale to maximize the effect of every donor’s philanthropic investment. Hope Center research is funded by Hope Happens, an organization originally founded by Chris Hobler and his family before Chris died of ALS in 2005. Jessie Vonk, wife of Dutch maestro Hans Vonk until his death of ALS in 2004, is a sculptor who designed the Christopher Hobler Spirit of Hope Award. A resident of Tasmania, Jessie Vonk returns to St. Louis each spring to participate in An Evening of Hope.

The evening will begin with cocktails at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner at 6:30, presentation of the Christopher Hobler Spirit of Hope Award at 7:15, the concert by Misca Dichter at 8:00 and a reception with the artist at 9:00 pm. Now in the fourth decade of an illustrious international career, Mischa Dichter performs recitals and appears with the world's major orchestras, often performing virtuoso compositions of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, as well as music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms.
Ticket prices for this enchanted evening are $250 per person and available through Hope Happens at 314.289.5660. Tickets to attend Mischa Dichter’s performance only are available for $20 from Hope Happens or MetroTix at 314.534.1111 (http://www.metrotix.com). Sponsorships are available, ranging from $500 Patrons to $10,000 Platinum Sponsors.
Major sponsors for the third annual Evening of Hope include Edward Jones and Maritz, Inc. The Sheldon Concert Hall is at 3648 Washington Boulevard in mid-town St. Louis, near Hope Happens offices at 539 North Grand Boulevard, Suite 401.

For more information, please contact Jeff Dunlap at 314.993.6925 or Dennis O’Brien at 314.289.5660.

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