Celebrating Milestones and Empowering Hope at our 40th Anniversary Gala
The Westin Anaheim Resort was ablaze with excitement and purpose on November 10, 2023, as the Hydrocephalus Association (HA) commemorated four decades of impact, dedication and support for our community at our 40th Anniversary Gala. The event brought together a diverse ensemble of researchers, physicians, industry partners, individuals living with hydrocephalus, their families, and esteemed supporters for an enchanting evening that blended celebration, gratitude, and a resounding call for progress.
The night unfolded with an atmosphere of warmth and socialization, fostering connections among attendees as they mingled and engaged in the silent auction, igniting the spirit of generosity right from the start.
The Gala program, steeped in reverence for HA’s legacy, began with a poignant video chronicling the history of the association. Embracing our founders and the visionary leaders who pioneered HA’s journey, the video served as a testament to their tireless dedication and the impactful strides made over the years, while setting the stage for the work left ahead
A heartfelt moment unfolded as the Gala honored the invaluable contributions of Emily and Russell Fudge. Members of our community took the stage for the opportunity to express their gratitude by sharing touching stories and conveying appreciation for the lives profoundly impacted and uplifted by the Fudges’ steadfast support and visionary leadership.
In a deeply moving tribute, the Hydrocephalus Association honored Cynthia Solomon, a cherished founder whose passing left a profound legacy resonating within our community. In recognition of Cynthia’s strategic impact, HA announced the renaming of the Resident’s Prize to The Cynthia Solomon Resident’s Prize, a testament to her remarkable character and contributions.
This renaming aims to highlight Cynthia’s extraordinary legacy, enriching the award’s significance and inspiring future generations within our community. Cynthia’s son was invited to the stage, graciously accepting the honor. His touching words beautifully encapsulated Cynthia’s enduring spirit, recognizing her unwavering dedication, and leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who were present.
The evening continued with a delightful dinner, complemented by the excitement of a dynamic live auction. Attendees were captivated by a moving video presentation that showcased the poignant stories of families navigating life with hydrocephalus. This presentation emphasized the crucial need for advancements in treatments and emphasized the urgency of finding a cure, shining a spotlight on HA’s central role as the primary force propelling research and fostering hope.
Amidst these powerful narratives, a courageous family, Erin and Pieter Berger, stepped forward. The Berger’s shared their personal journey, offering a touching testament to the resilience and challenges faced by those living with hydrocephalus. Their heartfelt account resonated deeply, reinforcing the importance of continued support and research.
A passionate highlight of the evening was the Fund A Cure paddle raise, where attendees united in a collective effort, raising funds to bolster HA’s critical mission. Their commitment and generosity echoed the collective determination to propel research forward as quickly as possible and to advocate heavily for those impacted by hydrocephalus.
Closing the evening on a whimsical note was the enchanting performance by Justin Willman, whose blend of comedy and mesmerizing magic enthralled and captivated the audience, leaving a lasting magical impact.
The 40th Anniversary Gala was a testament to HA’s steadfast dedication, uniting hearts and minds in a shared vision for a future free from the burdens of hydrocephalus. As the night concluded, attendees departed, carrying with them a renewed sense of purpose and resolve to continue the fight for advancements and hope.
In celebrating this milestone, the Hydrocephalus Association reaffirmed its pledge to persist in driving forward research, support, and advocacy, ensuring that every step brings us closer to a world where hydrocephalus is a thing of the past.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Codman Specialty Surgical
Sally Dunkelberger and David Daniel
Pam and Grant Finlayson
Emily and Russell Fudge
Glenn and Laurie Waggoner, Jr.
In Memory of Freddie McKinnon
Heather Kluter and Jim Kruse