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MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2012

The 12th Annual Wings Gala continued to feel the effects of a very down economy and a slumping financial sector.  While our attendance was low, the enthusiasm was high as Wings continued to provide much needed funds for ALS research.  Honored in 2012 was Robert Amaro from Etro, whose sister accepted the Spirit Award after Robert left us a week before Wings.  Also honored were former Wings Chair Angela Sun, Chief-of-Staff to the President and CEO of Bloomberg, L.P., with the Michael P. Beier Award, and Dr. Piera Pasinelli, co-director of the Frances and Joseph Weinberg Unit for ALS Research at the Farber Institute for Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University, with the Diamond Award.

The stated goal was to reach the $10 million mark in 2012.  Sadly, we fell short by some $31,290, but achieved a net income of $456,386, which put Wings very close to the $10 million mark.  Nevertheless, with the help of MC Stephanie Ruhle from Bloomberg TV and music by The Itch, the attendees all had a great night and raised funds to find a cure. 

MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2013

For 2013, Wings moved its Annual Gala to the Broad Street Ballroom and were honored to have as event emcee radio personality Ty Bentli. Ty made the event very exciting with this commentary. The goal of Wings 2013 was to smash through the $10 million mark, which we did in style, netting some $412,000 for ALS research. Honored in 2013 were former New Orleans Saints standout Steve Gleeson with the Spirit Award. Steve had quite a few folks from New Orleans show up to support his courageous fight against ALS. Steve was unable to join us in NYC personally, but sent a great video message to all the attendees. Also honored were Dr. Bryan Traynor with the Diamond Award for his work on ALS genetics and Todd Trimmer with the Beier Award. Todd, a former co-chair of Wings, was at the time co-CEO of Weeden and is now a senior officer at Guggenheim.

We were also joined by Steve Derks, who had recently joined the MDA as its new CEO. Steve was impressed with all that Wings had accomplished and committed to continue the relationship between Wings and the MDA. Our raffle for 2013 was a unique Piaggio scooter, which attracted a lot of attention on the auction floor. The raffle winner's reaction was "Holy Cow!"

The night was also very meaningful for those living with ALS. After the event, Wings co-founder Warren Schiffer spoke with a person with ALS and her husband about Wings 2013 and she had this to say: "For one night, she told me, she, her husband, and friend had a BLAST, leaving the disease behind for those precious hours of enjoyment."That blast was helped by some great music from the Trading Band, Fun Ghouls, and D'Edge.

MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2014

In 2014, the Wings Gala moved to another new venue, the famous Edison Ballroom. Using new technology and riding on the 75th Anniversary of Lou Gehrig's famous speech in Yankee Stadium, the 14th Annual Wings Gala was another great success. But 2014 was also the year of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and many members of the Wings family posted videos of their Ice Bucket Challenge participation. You can see the Challenge issued by Wings co-founder Warren Schiffer and his brother Larry Schiffer here.

The Wings 2014 honorees were special. They included Kimberly Ungar, CEO of the Security Traders Association of New York, who received the Beier Award, Dr. Timothy Miller of Washington University, who received the Diamond Award and the Carrington Family, who received the Spirit Award. A special Humanitarian Award was given to long-time Wings committee member and the Publisher of Traders Magazine, Ken Heath. Ken, unfortunately passed away from an unrelated disease in November 2014. Ken will be sorely missed by all.

Sportscaster Steve Overmyer was the evening's emcee and he was joined by special guest host CNBC's Jon Najarian who flew in just for Wings. Thanks Jon!  Wings 2014 also included great music from The Trading Band, FUN Ghouls and others, and special guest Walt "Clyde" Frazier.

2014 was also memorable because, although we netted only $321,000 for the ALS researchers, it put Wings' total over $10.7 million for research. Quite an accomplishment in 14 years and through the greatest economic upheaval of our lives.



MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2015 - Wings 15th Anniversary

Wings' 15th Anniversary Gala took place at The Lighthouse, Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, a spectacular location on the Hudson River. Great food, great music by Trading Band, and a great atmosphere. For our 15th Anniversary we were honored to have CNBC's Scott Wapner emcee the event. Judge (you have to guess why he is called Judge) did a great job as emcee.

Our 15th Anniversary could not have been sucessful without our fabulous co-chairs Lisa Utasi of Clearbridge and John Schwall of IEX. Lisa has been a part of the Wings family since nearly the beginning as a close friend of our former co-chair Michael Beier. This is Lisa's reprise as a co-chair and she continued her outstanding ability to attract sponsors to this important cause in Mike's memory.

John Schwall and his generous company IEX did something amazing for our 15th Anniversary. IEX hosted a Block Trading Day with spectacular results. and IEX matched the accumulated commissions for a total donation of $50,000 as a Guardian Angel sponsor. And yet John donated even more on his own in memory of his mother who lost her battle with ALS. Wings Co-founder Warren Schiffer and his brother Larry Schiffer were honored to present Lisa and John with special co-chair awards.

Speaking of awards, the Beier Award was given to the fantastic Jon (Dr. J) Najarian of OptionMonster and CNBC. Jon joined the Wings family last year at the last moment and is now part of the fabric of Wings not only because he is now a Beier Award receipient, but because he worked the room with Scott Wapner for the Research Minutes Auction and in auctioning off Mets World Series tickets and the opportunity to spend the day with Jon at CNBC and lunch at Capital Grille. With the Beier family watching, Jon was given the award by Lisa Utasi and Michael's niece Danielle Jaycox.

Wings' Diamond Award winner was Dr. James Berry, Co-Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic. The award was presented by Wings Co-founder Warren Schiffer. Dr. Berry joins past Diamond Award recipients who are pushing every day for advancements in ALS Research. We will hear more from Dr. Berry.

The Wings Spirit Award was presented by 2015 Co-chair John Schwall to Karen Condron, an artist and philanthropist, whose fortitude against ALS is remarkable. Karen's paintings were part of the silent auction and were well received. Her husband Jim Condron spoke for Karen and demonstrated how committed they are to finding a cure for ALS. We welcome the Condrons to the Wings family.

Wings 15th Anniversary pushed our total net giving to the ALS researchers close to $11 million.

Wings History continues on Page 5