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ATLANTA (March 24, 2005) — The Huntington’s Disease Society of Americ…

ATLANTA (March 24, 2005) — The Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Inc. (HDSA) will pay tribute to five local leaders for their contributions to the Atlanta community at the Sixth Annual Celebration of Hope Gala “Another Evening in Monte Carlo”, on Friday evening, April 1, 2005.

This is an HDSA national signature event which honors outstanding leaders who have not only achieved much in their chosen profession but also improved the quality of life in their communities through contributions in the fields of education, the arts, medicine/scientific research, philanthropy, business, and humanitarian services.

The Georgia event is the primary source of underwriting for the HDSA Center of Excellence at Emory. The local honorees include W. Randy Eaddy, partner at Kilpatrick Stockton, who will receive The Team Hope Award for Corporate Management and Diversity Leadership; Randi Jones, PhD, clinical psychologist and Clinic Director for the HDSA Center of Excellence at Emory, who will receive the Patient and Services Award; Allan Levey, MD, PhD for Medical Leadership; Susan Sweat, FedEx’s Managing Director of Domestic Ground Operations for the Southern Region, who will receive The Team Hope Award for Corporate Humanitarian Services; and Rev. Phillip G Thomason, Pastor of Outreach and Pastoral Services at St. Mark’s First United Methodist Church, who will receive The Team Hope Award for Humanitarian Leadership acknowledging his work with the homeless, the hungry, and people with HIV/AIDS. Joel Katz, Esquire and James E. Wallace are honorary chairs of the gala.

The event will begin at 6pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, 3300 Peachtree Road, NE for cocktails and a live and silent auction. Guests will dine at 7pm, and the awards ceremonies will follow at 8pm. At approximately 9:30pm, the doors will open to a ballroom transformed into a glamorous Monte Carlo style casino, complete with roulette wheels, craps tables, poker, and blackjack tables. Guests will be given $25,000 in play money to try their luck with these games of chance. At 11pm, they will cash in their play money and see if they have won any of the exciting raffle items available to all attendees.

The exciting Voice of Atlanta Gospel Choir will entertain throughout the evening, and there will be music provided by Steve Jacobs of Entertainment Atlanta. Jovita Moore, weekend news anchor at WSB-TV/ABC2, will emcee the event.

All funds from this event will support the vital biomedical research taking place at Emory and the service and education programs of the Center of Excellence in Atlanta. They will be matched by an anonymous grant to Centers of Excellence and will remain in Georgia.

Huntington’s disease is an incurable genetic neurological killer which affects an estimated 3,000 Georgians. Symptoms include personality changes and dementia, loss of coordination, wildly uncontrolled movement, speech and swallowing difficulties, muscle rigidity, loss of balance, and behavioral difficulties. Although typically diagnosed when someone is 30-40 years of age, children as young as 2 or persons as old as 70 have been diagnosed. Children with HD rarely live beyond their teens but older patients will typically deteriorate and die some 20-30 years after diagnosis, reminiscent of a closely related neurological disease, Alzheimer’s. HDSA provides funding for biomedical research into a cure or arrest of Huntington’s disease while providing educational and support services to HD patients and families. Over 85¢ of each dollar raised by HDSA goes directly to research or program services, and has been acknowledged by the prestigious American Institute of Philanthropy with an A+ rating.

For more information about Huntington’s disease, HDSA, or to purchase tickets to the Celebration of Hope, please contact Janice Watsky, Regional HDSA Director, at 866-712-0523.

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