On June 19, 2014, at Marquee, a venue located in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, a stone's throw from High Line Park, the Einstein Emerging Leaders (EEL) held its third annual gala.
Members of the Einstein community—many wearing lab coats over their cocktail attire—greeted 350 guests as they filed into the split-level venue.
Guests took part in a variety of activities that introduced them to EEL's "My Einstein" campaign and the five pillars through which they could support the campaign. These pillars focus on core areas of Einstein's scientific research: cardiovascular; cancer; aging; global health; and childhood development and diseases.
"The pillars were chosen to help people connect with what they are passionate about," explained Dr. Robert Ostfeld, associate professor of clinical medicine at Einstein who also serves on the executive committee of the EEL board.
In his welcoming remarks, T.C. Cosby, who hosted the gala along with fellow board member Matt Makovsky, reiterated Dr. Ostfeld's sentiments, noting, "My mom was a special educator, so supporting childhood development is an important goal for me. But everyone is here for their own reasons."
In one activity, representatives from childhood development and diseases took to the dance floor where they engaged guests in their pop culture version of HedBanz, having them guess phrases such as "Belieber" or "Latergram." "We use this game with the children we work with," explained Alexandra Nussbaum, a clinician at Einstein's Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC).
"The EEL leadership did an amazing job of bringing together New York professionals, philanthropists and volunteers with medical students, physicians and scientists to support the mission of My Einstein," said Jaime Schneider, who was representing the "aging" pillar with classmate Caroline Park. Both sixth-year students in Einstein's medical scientist training program, the duo challenged guests to play Aging Jenga, where they had written a true or false question related to aging on each block.
At the other end of Marquee, the "cancer" pillar offered one of the most popular activities, in which curious guests extracted DNA from their cheek cells under the supervision of Dr. Arthee Jahangir, a post-doctoral fellow. After placing the DNA inside a small bottle-shaped pendant, guests could then wear their DNA around their neck. "It's a great way to get people excited about science," noted participant Amy Wang.
Guests were also treated to a screening of the newest My Einstein video.
"The video shows what we're doing," said Joanna Steinberg, executive co-chair of EEL. "We want people to understand that getting involved with EEL can be fun, as well as meaningful."
Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Board Member of the Year Award. Ms. Steinberg and fellow executive co-chair Danielle Segal presented that honor—represented by a golden stethoscope—to Dr. Ostfeld.
"Rob has contributed so much to our group," said Ms. Steinberg. "He's been incredible at educating the board about what is going on in healthcare and he understands both ends of fundraising, the education and the marketing."
For more information on Einstein Emerging Leaders, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718.430.4178.
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