Celebration of Hope Event to Raise Money for Huntington's Disease

Four Community Leaders to Be Recognized for Their Efforts

May 03, 1999

A major fundraiser in Rochester will honor four individuals who have made significant contributions to the local community in the areas of medicine, science and public service. The "Celebration of Hope" event will benefit the newly established Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA) Center of Excellence at the University of Rochester.

The Celebration of Hope will take place on Thursday, May 20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rochester.

"The individuals we will honor have gone above and beyond the concept of bringing "hope" to our community," said Ira Shoulson, MD, Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and Director of the Huntington's Disease programs at the University of Rochester. "Their work in a wide variety of fields underscores an undying commitment to helping build a better world for all."

The individuals to be honored include:

Dr. James A. Pawelczyk, a 1982 graduate from the University of Rochester, currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Pawelczyk has worked as a NASA funded investigator for six years. In 1995 he was selected as Payload Specialist for the Neurolab space shuttle mission, and flew aboard the shuttle Columbia in April and May of 1998. Sandra Frankel, has more than twenty years of involvement in public and community service to the greater Rochester community. As Brighton Town Supervisor for the past seven years, Frankel has acquired and/or helped to develop more than 140 acres of land for active and passive recreation and to protect environmentally sensitive areas, and implemented a community-policing program.

Dr. Robert Joynt is the former Vice President and Vice Provost for Health Affairs at the University of Rochester. He is also the former Dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, past Chair of the Department of Neurology, and presently Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology and Anatomy. Dr. Joynt has international recognition for his leadership in neurological teaching, practice and research. Margaret Joynt has long been a community activist for a number of charitable causes in the Rochester area. Joynt was on the Board of the Judicial Process Commission, active in the Rochester Jail Ministry, Director of Volunteers of the Rochester Friendly Home, and on the Board of Urban Ministry prior to serving as a Law Clerk from 1973 to 1976. Joynt has also served on the Board of the Children's Alliance, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the Mount Hope Family Center and St. Joseph's Villa.

All proceeds from the dinner will fund the newly established University of Rochester's HDSA Center of Excellence, which provides medical care, counseling, referrals and education for Huntington's Disease patients and their families. The Center is also linked with the hub of the Huntington Study Group, a consortium of international investigators wanting to develop better treatments for Huntington's Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease.

Huntington's Disease is an inherited brain disorder, which results in the loss of both mental capability and physical control. Over a period of 10-20 years the person with HD progressively loses the ability to think, speak and walk. Children as young as 2 and adults as old as 80 have developed Huntington's Disease.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are available for $150. A Celebration of Hope Donor Table can be purchased for $1,500. Additional acknowledgment packages are also available by calling 716-473-3302.

The Rochester HDSA Chapter was formed in 1976. The chapter serves the needs of people with Huntington's Disease and their families, and is dedicated to finding a cure for HD and to improving the lives of afflicted families. This is accomplished through a local and national program of research, patient care, education and family services.

For Further Information Contact:

Huntington's Disease Society of America

Rochester, NY


Contact: Leslie Briner, Department of Neurology, (716) 275-1068

June Losurdo, HDSA Event Coordinator, (716) 473-3302

Sue Morris, HDSA, Rochester (716) 227-1764

For Media Inquiries:
Teri D'Agostino
(585) 275-3676
Email Teri D'Agostino