Photo Credits: Jemaine Pollard / LUXXELIVING and Lupus Research Alliance LRA

Photo Credit: Lupus Research Alliance LRA


​                                                                                                                                                                                                    Writer: Mitchell Acks                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Editor: Yerelyn Cortez Hidalgo

Lupus Research Alliance Gala Raises Millions for Research to Transform Treatment

Featured Emmy Award-Winning TV Host, Tamron Hall, Recording Artist Chloe Flower, and Honorees David and Kate Kies and Hospital for Special Surgery Advisor/Past President Louis Shapiro

December 4, 2023

On Monday, November 20th, 2023 the LUXXELIVING team had the pleasure to attend once again the Lupus Research AllianceLRABreaking Through Gala at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City. The evening began at 6pm with a cocktail reception where guests were able to take photos at the two (2) step and repeats as well as mingle, and enjoy a variety of drinks and hors d'oeuvres. The dinner and program commenced at 7PM where guests were directed to the ballroom to begin the evening.

It truly was great to be back at Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan for such a worthy cause. The Lupus Research Alliance LRA is the largest non-governmental, non-profit funder of lupus research worldwide. The Breaking Through Gala was a successful event raising $2 million for the cause.

It was a pleasant surprise for the evening to begin with an uplifting performance and moving tribute to lupus warriors by multi-talented pianist, composer, producer, and Sony Music recording artist Chloe Flower. Chloe has co-produced songs for Celine Dion Love Me, Nas Life idms Good, Questlove, Babyface, Johnny Mathis, & others. Chloe has also composed for Kevin Hart, Misty Copeland, The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, soundtrack for Paramount+ feature film, and On the Come Up.

Emmy Award-winning TV Host and Executive Producer, Tamron Hall, brought her refreshing and relatable voice to emcee the night’s program with warmth and compassion. Tamron Hall, a two-time daytime Emmy Award-winning TV Host was an engaging and charismatic emcee for the evening. “Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease that can take years to get diagnosed and disproportionately affects women of color in prevalence and severity. People close to me have been significantly impacted by this disease. Being here to help raise awareness and funds for the finest research is how we can best help improve the lives of people with lupus,” explained Hall.

​LRA President and CEO Albert T. Roy commented, “The power of everyone united in this room to fund cutting-edge research is what will bring the many individualized treatments the community so urgently needs and deserves. With you at our side, the researchers LRA funds are advancing quickly to deliver the breakthroughs that will allow people with lupus to be the best version of themselves.”

A star of the event, the iconic Empire State Building, brightened the city Sunday night, highlighting the importance of lupus research by lighting up NYC’s skyline in the colors of lupus research awareness – purple and red.

As LRA Board Co-Chair and Gala Co-Chair, President of The Johnson Company, Ira Akselrad welcomed the crowd of hundreds, while philanthropist and Honorary Gala Co-Chair Michael R. Bloomberg addressed the audience with a special videotaped message of support for the organization and the community it serves. Bloomberg Philanthropies is also a strong supporter.

Roy thanked the other 2023 Gala Co-Chairs for all their support including: H. Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chair, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP; Jennifer A. Dakin, Managing Director of Wells Fargo Bank NA; Richard K. DeScherer, LRA Board Chairman and Director Emeritus, Bloomberg L.P.; Bryan T. Kelly, MD, MBA, President and CEO, Hospital for Special Surgery; and William J. Wolfe, Chairman of First Washington Realty, Inc.

​Hundreds in the room and online turned out to recognize this year’s honorees -- LRA Board member David Kies, formerly of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and his wife Kate, as well as Louis A. Shapiro, Advisor, Past President & CEO of Hospital for Special Surgery.

In introducing her dad, Laura Kies Gever noted that, “he would go to the ends of the earth to make my life better.” Gever shared that he had flown to Italy to bring her to Hospital for Special Surgery straight from the airport when she first fell ill.

“I believe that helping the LRA fund innovative research is the most effective way I can ensure the best future for Laura and the millions like her struggling with the effects of lupus every day of their lives,” commented Mr. Kies.

The organization honored Louis Shapiro for 17 years of commitment at Hospital for Special Surgery that was a model partner and provided model healthcare and breakthroughs. Lupus Research Alliance also honored David Kies, LRA Board Member and formerly of Sullivan & Cromwell, for his devotion to his daughter, Laura, that suffered from lupus.

The audience was very moved when LRA Young Leaders Board Executive Committee and Scientific Board Advisory member, Nancy Mize Gonzalez shared that she had to change careers as a concert pianist to a doctor due to her suffering from lupus.

In attendance from LUXXELIVING were Jemaine Pollard, Social Media and Events Correspondent as well as our writer Mitchell Acks.

​You can view images from the evening rotating below. 

About Lupus

Lupus is a chronic, complex autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide. More than 90 percent of people with lupus are women, often striking during the childbearing years of 15-45. Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans are at two to three times greater risk than Caucasians for developing lupus. In lupus, the immune system, meant to defend against infections, produces antibodies that mistakenly recognize the body’s own cells as foreign, prompting other immune cells to attack and potentially damage organs such as the kidneys, brain, heart, lungs, blood, skin, and joints.

About the Lupus Research Alliance

The Lupus Research Alliance is the largest non-governmental, non-profit funder of lupus research worldwide. The organization aims to transform treatment by funding the most innovative lupus research, fostering diverse scientific talent, and driving discovery toward better diagnostics, improved treatments and ultimately a cure for lupus. Because the Lupus Research Alliance’s Board of Directors funds all administrative and fundraising costs, 100% of all donations goes to support lupus research programs. For more information, please visit the LRA at and on social media at: X, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

For more information or to learn more about Lupus Research Alliance LRA click here or go to:

Lupus Research Alliance LRA

Breaking Through Gala at Ziegfeld Ballroom

New York City

November 20, 2023

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