A Magical Evening (AME) is the Reeve Foundation’s signature annual gala in New York. It’s a celebration of community and family, of accomplishment, of possibility. This year was the gala’s 22nd year – it dates back to our early days as the American Paralysis Association and has a rich and glorious tradition that includes the participation of government officials, beloved celebrities, entertainers and corporate executives. AME 2012 took place on November 28th at the opulent and historic Cipriani Wall Street.
A Magical Evening is one of my favorite nights of the year. Months of work, preparation and planning are culminated into one day of anticipation, and from the very beginning this year felt particularly special. First off, we were recognizing two extraordinary honorees; Paul Daversa, recipient of the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award, and the film The Intouchables recipient of the Dana Reeve HOPE Award.
Paul Daversa (pictured here with his mom, family and Meryl Streep) is an incredible guy. Ever since he first reached out to the Reeve Foundation through our Paralysis Resource Center after his mother, Marcia suddenly became paralyzed, Paul has been an extraordinary leader, advocate and board member. While searching for answers and the best treatments available for his mother, Paul and his family never gave up. Their perseverance produced results as today his mother Marcia is walking. Paul and the Daversa Family exemplify Christopher’s unrelenting spirit and belief that “nothing is impossible.”
The Intouchables is a heartwarming, inspiring film. If you haven’t seen it, get out and see it ASAP. It’s the French submission for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars and let me tell you, it’s certainly deserving of it. The Intouchables has broken box office records across the globe and for good reason. The film, based on a true story of a quadriplegic and his caregiver, not only portrays the joys and challenges of living with paralysis, but shows that despite our physical, socioeconomic, and countless other differences, we’re really all the same. It will make you laugh and make you cry, and more than anything, renew your hope. We were thrilled to have the writers and directors of the film (Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano), the leading actor (Omar Sy), and the great Harvey Weinstein who brought the film to the states with us at the gala. Harvey and the incomparable Meryl Streep introduced the men behind the film and the Dana Reeve Hope award.
Jason Derulo who sustained a spinal cord injury earlier this year, and Jordin Sparks performed at the event, bringing their upbeat attitudes and award winning jams to the crowd. DJ Whoo Kid spun during dinner and at the evening’s completion getting all guests on the dance floor.
Other highlights of the evening included a champagne toast from Good Morning America’s Josh Elliott, Sam Champion and Lara Spencer, a cake compliments of Carlo’s Bakery, and our amazing community members and “roll” models, Ali Stroker, Eric LeGrand, Alan Brown and Luke Moretti.
Check out pictures from the gala here.
And press from the gala:
John Simon Daily
Hope you'll join us at next year's gala!
Manager, Special Events & Volunteer Relations