It was a rocking blast last night at The American Museum of Natural History where The Jeffrey Modell Foundation held The 25th Anniversary of the foundation in an event called 'Spring Ahead.'. Last night's Gala was marked by an extravaganza that included rock, soul, and hip hop music with special performances by the National Dance Institute.
The evening honored David W. Levinson, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, L&L Holding Company whose work for the foundation earned him The Man of The Year Award. L&L is a privately owned real estate company that owns more than five and a half million square feet of commercial office space valued at over three billion dollars.
The event started off with guests arriving into The Rose Center For Earth and Space, Cullman Hall of The Universe and continued in The Milstein Hall of Oceanic Life where nearly a thousand guests were treated to a spectacular evening under the 'Great Blue Whale.'
The Jeffrey Modell Foundation was established by Vicki and Fred Modell in 1987, in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at the age of fifteen from complications of Primary Immunodeficiency - a genetic condition that is chronic, serious and often fatal. JMF is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to early diagnosis, meaningful treatments and, ultimately, cures through research, physician education, public awareness, advocacy, patient support and newborn screening. Three hundred and fifty(350) researchers, scientists, and doctors from 62 countries have been conferencing at The Rockefeller University this week in their fight against this genetic condition.
Talking about the successes of the foundation and cutting edge research and achievements Fred encouraged gala participants to spread the word - the work of the foundation is also critical to helping solve the mysteries of other immunodeficiency related diseases like cancer, aids, lupus, diabetes, heart disease and alzheimer's. "If you've ever been helped by a hospital or doctor let them know you support their work."
"Scientific breakthroughs may have come too late for Jeffrey, but for those children that follow and Jeffrey would never have a chance to know and to meet - their lives will be enhanced by your commitment to this most exciting period of scientific discovery ever. Your Support gives patients real hope."
As Fred introduced David he revealed one of many interests of Levinson -The NY Yankees of which Levinson is a partner. He joked about Levinson who always wears his Yankee World Series Ring. Levinson came up to the podium and held up his hand revealing his Yankee Ring. He accepted 'The Man of the Year Award' and gave a short acceptance speech in which he shared this humorous antidote.
Levinson talks about how he blew up his garage as a kid and that led to his eventual discovery of building restoration!
Levinson said his childhood dream was to become a famous baseball player and he tried but God didn't gift him the gift to be a player but he did get the gift of being an owner-" so that wasn't really too bad." One of the things almost nobody knows about me is that I had another dream and that dream as a child was to be a scientist. Now those of you that know me - that's a pretty frightening idea. I did have a very elaborate laboratory in my garage. I did all kinds of different experiments in petri dishes -made all kinds of diseases in there. I had animal body parts, formaldehyde but my real passion in science was rocketry and building and sending rockets off into the atmosphere with animals and seeing if I could see a difference after they came back. But what I really found out was that I was not really l suited for this and the way I found out was that I blew my garage up!
Well what really happened to me was that I saw my garage being rebuilt. When I saw the restoration of the garage it stimulated my idea that maybe I should doing something else and this was my first experience in redevelopment in real estate...and then with great thanks to work of the foundation and all those involved for the evenings festivities he concluded.
The evening continued for several more hours as guests under the great blue whale in neon celebration danced blissfully in adoration of scientific achievement for this great cause.
Robert A. Gastel, Director, Cushman & Wakfield; Al D'Elia, AIA, Executive Vice President
Eric Negrin, Corporate Managing Director, Studley; William Silverman, Corporate Managing Director, Studley; Peter J. Weiss, Principal, Modena Partners LLC
Paul M. Fried, Managing Director; L&L Holding Company LLC; Liz Fried
Mitchell A. Arkin, Executive Director, Cushman& Wakefield,Inc.;
Robert Ivanhoe,Esq., Chairman, Global Real Estate Practice, Greenberg Traurig LLP; (and Guest)