TWG takes pride in the important work of all our clientele, especially the nonprofit groups like USAgainstAlzheimer’s Network, an organization dedicated to stopping Alzheimer’s disease by 2020. Many months ago, when TWG first met with George and Trish Vradenburg, the founders of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, it became alarmingly clear how intensely their lives were impacted by this disease and that they were determined to raise money and awareness of the cause by thinking outside of the box. In this initial meeting with the Vradenburgs, we learned about Trish’s play, Surviving Grace, which ran off-Broadway, and chronicles her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s and their complicated (and often humorous) relationship.
The Reading’s Cast with George and Trish Vradenburg From Left: Dan Glickman, Meryl Comer, Stephen Schmidt, Marilu Henner, Trish Vradenburg, Diane Rehm, George
Trish, an established author, is best known for her writing work on television shows including “Family Ties,” and “Kate and Allie.” On October 10, 2012, TWG collaborated with USAgainstAlzheimer’s to assemble a star-studded cast and produce Opening Night: Surviving Grace – A Reading of ACT I at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.
With the support of TWG, USAgainstAlzheimer’s threw Washington’s first No-Gala Gala in May 2012. The success of Opening Night: Surviving Grace and the buzz about the original No-Gala Gala solidified USAgainstAlzheimer’s status as one of DC’s most innovative fundraisers. The evening of October 10th kicked off with a cocktail reception in the masterpiece-filled galleries of The Phillips. Guests then took their seats in the Phillips’ auditorium for the reading of Act I. Actress, author and health advocate, Marilu Henner, starred in the reading, alongside Diane Rehm, executive producer and host of WAMU/NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show. In the reading, this duo assumed the roles of mother and daughter, and was joined by fellow cast mates including Terry Moran (co-anchor of ABC News “Nightline”) and Dan Glickman (executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional program and former president of the MPAA).
Following the reading, an intimate VIP Dinner and Wrap Party took place in the museum’s stunning Music Room where guests dined on four story hill dry-aged beef tenderloin with roasted cipollini onions and grilled snapper filet served with Yukon gold potato galette. As dinner concluded and the apple tart tatin dessert was served, George Vradenburg presented his wife, Surviving Grace playwright, with a single white rose. There wasn’t a dry-eye in the house. The triumph of Opening Night: Surviving Grace proves that the key to producing successful and memorable fundraising events lies in the ability to galvanize the audience by giving them something to laugh at, relate to, think about or re-think.
USAgainstAlzheimer’s is a national advocacy campaign and independent advocacy network committed to stopping Alzheimer’s by 2020. To learn more about USAgainstAlzheimer’s please visit: http://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/