The National Kidney Foundation’s 32nd Annual Kidney Ball, which honored Kennedy Center President and Kidney Donor Michael Kaiser, took place November 17th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., bringing out 700 guests and raising $800,000.
“I am so pleased to be involved with the National Kidney Foundation and it was a natural fit to nominate Michael for this honor,” said Honorable Norman Mineta, Vice Chair of Hill & Knowlton and a member of the Kidney Ball Executive Committee. “He is an extraordinary person and I look forward to introducing and presenting the award to him in November.”
The Kidney Ball is the largest black-tie fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation nationally, and the DC area has the highest prevalence of kidney disease in the nation with more than 700,000 affected, nearly 6,000 on dialysis, and more than 1,500 waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant. The money raised at the gala will support research, patient services, public and professional education, and organ donation awareness.
“My sister was a very severe diabetic,” Kaiser said. “Diabetes is the cause of so many challenges to those who suffer from that disease – heart disease, stroke, gangrene, blindness and kidney failure – and my sister had complete kidney failure in 1988 and was on dialysis, which was not a sustainable cure for her. And so, I decided to give her my kidney. We were a very, very strong match. It was a very easy decision to make and something I was honored to do.”
Deborah Ikirt of Information Innovators chaired the Ball this year, and is the mother of a young kidney patient. WashingtonExec spoke with Ikirt recently about her involvement with the Kidney Foundation for both professional and personal reasons.
Major event sponsors included Astellas, Accenture, Bedford Falls Foundation, Bert Smith & Company, Host Hotels & Resorts, Ronald D. Paul Companies, Sutherland Media Productions, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and IBM.
Below are photos from the event, and more can be viewed on the National Kidney Foundation’s facebook page.