A night of magic

| Kathryn Jones

The National Psoriasis Foundation wouldn’t exist without the people who work tirelessly to help us drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. 

We honor those who go above and beyond with an Excellence in Leadership and Volunteer Award recognizing their outstanding achievements in health care or philanthropy. The awards are presented at the Commit to Cure Gala, our glitziest fundraising event of the year for which we pull out all the stops to ensure attendees are treated to an evening of enchantment. 

On Sept. 10, we will honor Paul Yamauchi, M.D., Ph.D., and Richard “Rick” Seiden, J.D., at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, California. Attendees and sponsors will be treated to a magical evening centered on the theme, “Make Psoriasis Disappear.” Click here for ticket info.

World-renowned comedy-magician Matt Marcy will amuse and astound the audience with his unique combination of magic and storytelling. A staple at the famous Hollywood Magic Castle, Marcy has appeared on TV show “Masters of Illusion” and is currently starring in the web series “Disillusioned.” 

Los Angeles-based vocal jazz ensemble The Hamiltones, voted best performing arts high school vocal jazz choir by Down Beat Magazine, have reunited a decade later to dazzle the audience with an exclusive performance in honor of Seiden, doting father of group member Laura Goldsmith.

There will be a special guest appearance from actress, classically trained musician and “America’s Next Top Model” season seven winner CariDee English, who is living with psoriasis and proud to have Yamauchi heading her treatment team. 

Throughout the night, attendees will have the chance to bid on some incredible auction packages, including resort vacations in Maui and Colorado, and VIP entertainment and sport packages with enviable tickets to see LA’s top teams and blockbuster performances. All proceeds from the live auction and Commit to Cure paddle raise will be used to advance research toward a cure.  

Now let’s talk about our honorees. 

Yamauchi, an expert in psoriatic disease

Yamauchi is an NPF Medical Board member and dermatologist in private practice at the Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center in Santa Monica. He is an internationally recognized leader in clinical research and advanced treatments for psoriatic disease. 

“Dr. Yamauchi is the go-to psoriasis doctor as far as I’m concerned,” said gala co-chair and co-emcee Janice Bender. “He’s been very involved with NPF here in Los Angeles and is a wealth of information on the research front.”

Yamauchi and the Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center staff

Not only is Yamauchi the recipient of numerous industry awards and considered a well-respected resource among the national media, he is a kind and compassionate physician who is a major proponent of patient support groups for psoriasis.

“Nothing gives me more gratification than to be able to successfully treat a patient who has severe psoriasis that was affecting their quality of life,” Yamauchi said. “Even though the gala is honoring Mr. Seiden and myself, I feel that it is for everyone who attends because we are all equally committed to finding a cure for psoriasis.”

Seiden, NPF’s stalwart political advocate

Seiden is a partner and health care business attorney with the Los Angeles practice of Foley & Lardner who is living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. An active and generous supporter of NPF for more than 30 years, he was elected to the Board of Directors in 2002, served a two-year term as chair in 2009 and was re-elected to the board in 2015. 

“One of the hallmarks of an effective board is our ability to evaluate proposals from management and look at the unintended as well as intended consequences to make sure it’s the right decision and consistent with the Foundation’s mission,” Seiden said. “If I’ve had any influence at all in the process, it would be that we have increased our focus on psoriatic arthritis and our advocacy capabilities.”

Seiden has advocated for psoriatic disease patients before Congress and the National Institutes of Health. He serves on the Advisory Council to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease and is considered an extremely valuable asset to NPF’s political endeavors in California and Washington, D.C.

Seiden and U.S. Senator for California Barbara Boxer

“Rick is optimistic, kind, loving and just a delightful human being who is incredibly well informed about psoriasis and the Foundation,” Bender said. “He is an amazing resource for people who have been newly diagnosed. I have turned to him on many occasions for his insight and brilliant grasp on all things psoriasis.”

Can’t make it to the LA gala? 

There will be a second Commit to Cure Gala in 2016 honoring Dr. Amy Paller and Mark Lillie on Oct. 15 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago.  To learn more about the honorees and to purchase tickets or sponsor a table, click here.

Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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