Cure SMA, a nonprofit group supporting people with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and investing in SMA research, will host its first-ever virtual gala on Tuesday, Oct. 27, in an event titled Cure SMA Evening of Hope: A Virtual Masquerade.
“It will be an evening celebrating innovation and hope, bringing together the SMA community and its supporters from the comfort and safety of their homes,” Cure SMA said in a press release.
The event is designed to raise funds for Cure SMA’s missions and, at the same time, virtually bring together SMA patients with their families, friends, and supporters to celebrate the advances in SMA treatment and the hope new therapies have brought to the SMA community.
“In these unprecedented times, we see continued investment in research and support as critical in our mission to advance treatment and care for people living with SMA,” said Kenneth Hobby, president of Cure SMA.
“The Cure SMA Evening of Hope: A Virtual Masquerade is an exceptional way to bring our community together to help us continue our work in advancing therapies that can be used in combination with approved treatments and deliver customized support programs that benefit our entire community,” Hobby said.
Scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Central Time (CT), with a pre-show at 7:15 p.m. CT, the virtual gala will differ slightly from past years’ events, which were held in person.
Despite the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced Cure SMA to hold the annual event online for the first time, attendees can still expect an engaging program that includes a silent auction and recognition for members of the community, among other events.
“This gala may look and feel different than others we have hosted, but our commitment remains unchanged,” said Erin Kelly, vice president of development at Cure SMA. “Now, more than ever, we want to support and celebrate our progress and our community.”
Registration for the event is free, but those who donate $50 while registering will receive a mini party box as a keepsake. It includes two limited edition Cure SMA wine tumblers, two masquerade masks, and a food and drink recipe card from the event.
Bidding is already open for the silent auction, which features jewelry, a cruise travel package, a powered wheelchair, and more. Winners will be announced at the virtual gala.
For those who wish to watch the event, the website hosting the live stream can be found here.
Support for the virtual masquerade has been provided by three premier national sponsors — Biogen, Genentech, and Novartis Gene Therapies. Other groups that have supported Cure SMA and the virtual gala include Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), CTIA, Cytokinetics, Scholar Rock, Faegre Drinker, Permobil, and the Kilo family.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cure SMA has offered specific resources designed to support patients and their caregivers. These include template letters, healthcare resources, policy actions, and events like the virtual gala, all designed to promote connections within the SMA community.
“Like many, Cure SMA has seen the impact of COVID-19 on our community, and we have added new support measures to provide specific aid in response to COVID-19 and opportunities for people living with SMA to connect while spending time at home,” Kelly said.
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