Date: December 7th, 2015
The Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards Dinner is a time-honored tradition at the Alliance for Aging Research. Over the years, the dinner has brought to the stage of the historic Willard Hotel notable government officials such as Senators John Glenn and Edward Kennedy, extraordinary innovators like Jay Walker and Martha Stewart, and heads of critical health agencies that include the FDA, NIH, CMS, and even NASA.
On September 29, 2015, the Alliance continued the tradition of celebrating the cause of aging research and honoring those who have advanced the science of human aging at the 22nd Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards Dinner. The Alliance was pleased to honor the Honorable Kelly Ayotte, Republican senator from New Hampshire, the Honorable Diana DeGette, Democratic representative from Colorado’s First District, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi of Harvard University, and Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.
The 2015 dinner left us both inspired and motivated. It was without a doubt a memorable evening filled with moments of inspiration and hope.
Senator Ayotte, who received the Alliance's Distinguished Public Service Award, spoke about the growing role of caregivers in this country and her goals to give them more resources to help them take care of their loved ones. She also lent her support to the critical necessity of research.
“There are so many ways we can work together to make sure all of us can live a quality life in this country. It really begins with what we are willing to invest in research,” she noted.
Sen. Ayotte addressing the dinner
Representative DeGette, the 2015 recipient of the Claude Pepper Award for Advancing Health Aging, was honored for her effective work in the House of Representatives. She has worked tirelessly to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, streamline the research and development process through the 21st Century Cures Initiative, and advance a balanced approach to shape the future of regenerative medicine.
Dr. Tanzi received the Silver Innovator Award for spearheading his research lab’s “Alzheimer’s-in-a-dish model,” a revolutionary 3-D discovery that gives new hope for the development of therapies to treat and cure the condition. He offered hope about the promise of Alzheimer’s research.
"I'm very optimistic. I firmly believe we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on Alzheimer's now," he said. "We need foundations, we need groups like the Alliance, to keep supporting NIH, to keep supporting research."
Simon with Alliance Founder Dan Perry and President
and CEO Susan Peschin, MHS
Scott Simon, the recipient of the Alliance’s Indispensable Person of the Year Award in recognition of his 2015 book Unforgettable: A Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime. In his moving speech, he expressed how difficult it was for him as a caregiver to watch his beloved mom struggle through her last days while he provided what comfort he could. But he also told the audience his time as a caregiver offered him a life’s worth of inspiration.
The Alliance will honor the next class of distinguished aging advocates on September 20, 2016, at the 2016 Bipartisan Congressional Awards Dinner. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the latest advances in the science of human aging and 30 years of the Alliance advancing science and enhancing lives.