Arthritis Foundation Presents 'Commitment to a Cure' Awards Gala

Friday, November 13, 2009 General News
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Al Pacino and Gary N. Holland, M.D. to Receive Prestigious Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award at Awards Gala on Saturday, November 14th

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Southern California Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation will present the 22nd "Commitment to a Cure" Awards Gala on Saturday, November 14th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award to actor Al Pacino and renowned ophthalmologist Gary N. Holland, M.D.

"The Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award is the highest honor given by the Southern California Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation," said Mitchell A. Jacobs, Chair of the Board. "It is presented to individuals who exemplify the leadership, commitment and dedication to humanitarian causes that Ms. Wyman herself demonstrated in the fight to find a cure for arthritis and related diseases." He added, "We congratulate this year's honorees for their outstanding contributions to our communities. Al Pacino has a history of charitable giving and we are extremely grateful for his support of our mission. We are also pleased to recognize Gary N. Holland, M.D., an international authority on infectious and inflammatory eye diseases including uveitis, a disease affecting many children with arthritis."

Arthritis is a devastating disease that affects 46 million Americans (1 in 5 adults), including almost 300,000 children. About half of the people affected are under age 65. Arthritis is the second most prevalent chronic disease among adults in America, and affects more adults than heart disease, cancer or diabetes. (1)

In addition to honoring the award recipients, the evening will include a cocktail reception, dinner, live auction, and entertainment provided by "The Leading Ladies," a trio of Broadway actresses, all of whom played the part of Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera." The Ladies sing everything from Broadway classics to the Beatles, and bring their special blend of harmony, fun and class to every occasion.

For more information on the "Commitment to a Cure" Awards Gala, please call Matt Duggan at 323.954.5760 x250 or send an e-mail to

About the two recipients of the 2009 Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award:

Al Pacino, Actor and Director

Al Pacino, actor and director, is an eight-time Academy Award(R) nominee. He has distinguished himself in more than forty feature films, including movie classics such as "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon," "The Godfather" and "The Godfather: Part II," and "Scent of a Woman," for which he won an Oscar(R) for Best Actor. Mr. Pacino also won an Emmy(R) and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Roy Cohn in HBO's award-winning adaptation of "Angels in America." He has garnered numerous industry honors, including awards from the Independent Feature Project, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Foreign Press, the American Cinematheque, and the American Film Institute. In addition to a lifetime of achievement in film and on stage, he recently directed "Salomaybe," an independent documentary on the personal life of Oscar Wilde and his play, "Salome."

Gary N. Holland, M.D., Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA; David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA

Gary N. Holland, M.D., is Professor of Ophthalmology and Chief of the Cornea and Uveitis Division of the Department of Ophthalmology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He is also Director of the Ocular Inflammatory Disease Center at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute. Recently, Dr. Holland was honored as the first recipient of the Jack H. Skirball Endowed Chair in Ocular Inflammatory Diseases. He is an international authority on infectious and inflammatory eye diseases, including uveitis, a disease affecting many children with arthritis. Dr. Holland is conducting research to gain a better understanding of the factors that lead to vision loss in children with uveitis, and has written extensively on this topic. He also serves as a consultant to pediatric rheumatologists throughout Southern California.

About the Arthritis Foundation

Established in 1948, the Arthritis Foundation is the only national voluntary organization that works on behalf of people with all forms of arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation funds research to find cures and improve care, issues up-to-date information about arthritis and its treatment, and offers exercise and support groups for those with arthritis. For more information, please call 1.800.954.2873 (CURE) or visit

Contact - Arthritis Foundation, Southern California Chapter

Teri S. Lim, Vice President, Marketing and Communications

323.954.5760 x260


Media Contact:

Lois Julien

Julien Communications

Ofc. 818.222.6790

Cell: 818.634.0640


(1) NCHS Vital & Health Statistics, Series 10, Number 235, December 2007.

SOURCE Arthritis Foundation, Southern California Chapter

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