David Letterman Helps Fete TGF’s 40th Anniversary

  • May 20, 2024
~David Letterman Helps Fete TGF’s 40th Anniversary ~
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David Letterman

Writer, performer, and producer David Letterman was front and center at TGF’s Gala on April 18th at which 250 supporters and friends gathered to celebrate the Foundation’s 40th anniversary. Mr. Letterman received the Foundation’s inaugural Chairman’s Spotlight Award.

Said TGF Chairman Gregory K. Harmon, MD, “This new award puts a spotlight on the transformative effect individuals can have in their chosen field and their activism and philanthropy on behalf of others. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than our first recipient, David Letterman.”

Accepting the award, Mr. Letterman presented a special new “Top 10 List” about visits to an eye doctor. “The curing and treating of this disease is truly a gift to me and my family,” noted Mr. Letterman, whose mother had glaucoma.

The Glaucoma Foundation was founded in 1984 by Dr. Robert Ritch to identify and support innovative research in glaucoma. “Even then,” says TGF President and CEO Elena Sturman, “it was understood that research would hold the key to opening doors that could lead to new treatments and eventually a cure for this insidious disease.” Ten years later, TGF’s interdisciplinary Annual International Scientific Think Tank was launched, helping to set the course.

Eliminating blindness from glaucoma through vital research, education, and collaboration remains TGF’s core mission. In recent years TGF has developed new initiatives to educate the public and help glaucoma patients around the world manage their disease.  During Covid, TGF began presenting an ongoing series of impactful webinars. “We strive to be a valuable resource and to improve the lives of people with glaucoma worldwide,” says Ms. Sturman.

With Board Member Dr. Jai Parekh serving as Master of Ceremonies at the Gala, the Kitty Carlisle Hart Award of Merit for Lifetime Achievement at the Gala was presented to two longtime Board Members and their wives — Barry S. Friedberg & Charlotte Moss, and Kenneth & Linda Mortenson. Ms. Hart, the stage and screen actress, was a devoted friend of the Foundation for many years.

Also featured was a presentation by caregivers Jasmyne and Jermayne Hill, whose infant son Jaxon was diagnosed with primary congenital glaucoma.

Jaxon, Jasmyne & Jermayne Hill

The Anniversary Gala raised $561,000 in support of the Foundation’s mission to eradicate blindness caused by glaucoma. Proceeds will be applied to its research program.

For more images and video clips of the gala, visit the TGF Events page.