Great Minds Gala

Buy a ticket for Great Minds Gala on March 16, 2015 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. Reception is 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. and the dinner and program is at 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $250 per person and $2,500 for a table of 10.

We are happy to announce the 2015 Proxmire Honoree:

JEANNE PHILLIPS (aka “Abigail Van Buren” Dear Abby)

Inspired by their mother’s struggle, Jeanne Phillips and Eddie Phillips (deceased) bestowed a $10 million grant to the Mayo Clinic to build the Abigail Van Buren Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The hallowed persona of Abigail Van Buren lives on in Phillips’ daughter, Jeanne, who officially donned the Dear Abby cloak after her mother’s retirement in 2002.

Jeanne, the newest Dear Abby continues to receive and respond to letters from people seeking succor and advice as they care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.  But, perhaps the most poignant counsel for these individuals was penned by Phillips herself in a simple, yet stirring reply to that original letter, all those years ago:

“Dear Desperate: You are not alone…”


The Great Minds Gala recognizes LeadingAge members and individuals for positively impacting the care and support of those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The gala is a fundraising event held in conjunction with the PEAK Leadership Summit.
Since 2003, Ellen Proxmire has worked with Integrace (formerly (EMA)) and the Copper Ridge Institute to raise awareness and funds to improve Alzheimer’s care. Her husband, the late Senator William Proxmire, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994 and spent the last 5 years of his life at Copper Ridge.
LeadingAge is honored to be partnering with Integrace to realize Ellen’s vision of elevating awareness for the need for excellent care and support for people with the disease and those who care for them. Funds from the event will be equally distributed between the LeadingAge Innovations Fund and the Copper Ridge Institute for the creation and advancement of dementia programs.