UCI MIND’s first-ever virtual gala warms hearts, opens minds, drives donations both on and offline

client news press release uci mind Feb 11, 2021

A December to Remember inaugural digital broadcast draws nearly 1,000 viewers, raises $300,000 for Alzheimer’s research

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IRVINE, Calif. – The University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND) exceeded expectations in every way during its A December to Remember Gala on Dec. 5, 2020. The event took place virtually for the very first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching over 850 viewers on multiple online channels including Facebook, Youtube and the UCI MIND website. Motivated by unique personal stories,  world-class entertainers, and enticing auction items, donors gave over $300,000 toward UCI MIND’s vision of making memories last a lifetime. A recording of the event is available to view on UCI MIND’s YouTube page.

“Despite the challenges of presenting a program in an entirely new medium, we are thrilled with the response we’ve received from those who tuned in to our history-making digital event,” said Senior Director of Development, Danny Harper. “We’re proud of our team for producing an event that made real-life connections through this virtual medium.”

“Not only did viewers offer UCI MIND an overwhelming amount of support through their donations, they also offered rave reviews of the broadcast,” said Chair of the Gala Committee, Virginia Naeve. “It was an honor to work with such dedicated committee members who helped produce a powerful virtual event benefiting such an important cause."

The online broadcast, co-hosted by UCI MIND Director, Joshua Grill and Auctioneer, Zack Krone, featured performances from Justin Willman, the star and creator of the hit Netflix series Magic for Humans, and Ashley Campbell, singer-songwriter and daughter of the late Glen Campbell. Both performers shared the impact that Alzheimer’s disease has had on their lives, making their segments as poignant and powerful as they were entertaining. The evening also included testimonials, an online auction, and insight into the latest research being conducted at Orange County’s only state and federally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Some viewers opted to enjoy a gourmet catered dinner safely delivered to their homes on the day of the event.

Though UCI MIND’s A December to Remember Gala has passed, there are many ways for Southern California residents to support its mission to advance research into improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Those interested in contributing to this critical mission can donate to UCI MIND or enroll in the UCI Consent-to-Contact (C2C) Registry to learn about research participation opportunities. For more information on UCI MIND, visit www.mind.uci.edu. Follow UCI MIND on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


UCI MIND, the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at University of California, Irvine, is internationally recognized for its research accomplishments in age-related brain diseases. With over 100 faculty, staff, and trainees from 19 departments at UCI, UCI MIND is at the forefront of advancing treatment, prevention, diagnosis, and care for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias through collaborative research and education. UCI MIND is home to one of 32 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers funded by the National Institute on Aging and one of 10 California Alzheimer’s Disease Centers funded by the California Department of Public Health. For more on UCI MIND, visit www.mind.uci.edu


Media Contact:

Meg Treat

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