Foundation Fighting Blindness hosts gala

Greenwich resident Gary Katcher will receive a top honor in the fight to support awareness and raise funds for sight-saving research at the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ Banking on A Cure gala on Tuesday, April 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.

The benefit will raise critical awareness and research funds toward preventions, treatments and cures for vision-robbing retinal degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Usher syndrome and related conditions.

At the event, two leaders in the fight against blindness will be honored with the organization’s Visionary Award Mr. Katcher, co-founder and chairman of Greenwich-based hedge fund GRK Partners LP, and Stephen Tsang, M.D., Ph.D., of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

A Greenwich resident, Mr. Katcher, who was named a Foundation Fighting Blindness national trustee in 2013, became involved in the fight against blindness to support his brother Mitch Katcher, who has retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic retinal disease characterized by night blindness and a progressive loss of peripheral vision.

“This is a tremendous honor for me,” Mr. Katcher said in a press release. “My brother Mitch’s fight is my fight, and it is his spirit and tenacity that inspires me. Searching for cures to blindness takes amazing people and important resources and the team at the Foundation Fighting Blindness is leading that charge.”

Mitch and his wife Anne Katcher, also national trustees, are Banking on A Cure co-chairs.

The Katcher family said it has great hope that foundation-funded investments in gene therapy, stem cell-based therapies, drug development and other areas will lead to vision-saving and -restoring treatments to help patients in need. Thus far, dozens of children and young adults have regained significant vision thanks to Foundation Fighting Blindness-supported human studies that have paved the way for other clinical trials for a variety of retinal diseases.

Emceeing this year’s event is Fox News anchor, Shepard Smith.

To give people the opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse into the lives of the visually impaired, Banking on A Cure will feature a masked dining in the dark option for guests during the dinner entrée. There will also be both live and silent auctions, where guests will be able to bid on items such as an Argentina Wine Getaway and trips to the Bahamas, Paris and Los Angeles.

For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Katie VanBenschoten at [email protected] or 212-244-1470. The Pierre Hotel is located at 2 East 61st Street, New York, N.Y.

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