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“Now, more than ever, it is up to each of us to re-double our efforts and make a commitment to end Alzheimer’s."
——Laurie Burrows Grad
ALZHEIMER’S ORG FETES DIETZ
"A Night at Sardi’s” March 18 Will Also Honor Penny, Garry and Ronny Marshall
It couldn’t happen to a more worthy individual.

Legendary theatre producer Suzi Dietz, the better half (by far) of HITS’ own Editor-in-Chief Lenny Beer, will be honored with the Humanitarian Award at the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual “A Night at Sardi’s” benefit, being held March 18 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The night’s presentation will be And the World Goes Round: The Songs of Kander & Ebb.

Dietz has produced the evening’s show, which has included performances from Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, Guys and Dolls and Funny Girl, for the past 12 years, raising close to $17 million for the Association, which provides education, care consultation, family support services research funds and public policy initiatives. Also being honored are Penny, Garry and Ronny Marshall.

Among the stars who have participated over the years are Jennifer Garner, Vanessa Williams, Jason Alexander, Chandra Wilson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Portia de Rossi, Kristen Bell, Zach Quinto, Eric McCormack, David Hyde Pierce and Adam Wylie.

Laurie Burrows Grad created the event 18 years ago in honor of her father, the late playwright/director Abe Burrows (Guys and Dolls), who was a victim of the disease.

She chairs the annual event with her husband Peter Grad. Two months after Suzi signed on to first produce the event, her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and since then, she’s been dedicated to the cause. “Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s,” says Dietz.

Some facts about the disease:

*More than 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, with someone developing it every 70 seconds.

*The disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.

*By the year 2030, there will be 300,000 people in L.A. alone diagnosed with the disease.

*As a result of the current economic crisis, there are significantly fewer federal and private funds to fight the disease.

*Alzheimer’s and dementia triple health care costs for Americans 65 or over.

*The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amounts to more than $148 billion each year.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest private funder of research on the disease, having awarded more than $200 million in research grants. There have been a slew of promising results from drug trials

The organization local support groups and referrals to adult day care programs to help families and caregivers cope with the challenges of the disease. The Association also provides funds for Safe Return, the only nationwide identification program for persons with

Alzheimer’s who wander from home. There’s also a toll-free information Helpline for people in need of assistance and information (1-800-272-3900).

“Now, more than ever, it is up to each of us to re-double our efforts and make a commitment to end Alzheimer’s,” said Burrows Grad. “And I don’t have to tell you how much we all love Suzi, or how much we respect the work she has done for the Association.”

For more information on sponsorships or tables, go to www.alz.org/californiasouthland  or www.sardisla.com, call Michael Teta Associations at (818) 906-0240 or email [email protected].

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