Rita Hayworth Gala 2018, New York City

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Always a staple of New York City social scene is the Rita Hayworth Gala. The fundraising event is an annual gala held by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan in New York City, Chicago, Palm Beach and the most recently added The Hamptons, NY. The program started in 1985 by Princess Yasmin, to honor her mother who lost her battle to Alzheimer’s disease in 1987. The gala is held for the noble cause of raising charity funds for Alzheimer’s disease care and support, and spreading awareness of it. The theme of this year’s New York event, Blazing Trails, was a celebration of breakthroughs that are being made in eradicating Alzheimer’s, and a nod to Hayworth’s role in the movie They Came to Cordura.

With Princess Yasmin Aga Khan & David Hyde Pierce
With Princess Yasmin Aga Khan & David Hyde Pierce

This year’s event was held in New York, Cipriani 42nd Street on October 23rd, 2018. Willie Geist, the host of the show “Sunday Today with Willie Geist” and co-host of MSNBC’s show “Morning Joe” appeared as a chief guest at the event to honor Late Rita Hayworth’s 100th birthday that would have taken place on October 17th, 2018. Several well-known personalities such as Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, Anne Hearst McInernry, Oliver Johnson Kennan, and David Hyde Pierce rekindled some memories of the late “Love Goddess”. Her daughter recollected memories of Hayworth’s excruciating fight with Alzheimer’s disease.

Willie Geist
Willie Geist

Sale Johnson, Margo Catsimatidis, Yasmin Aga Khan, Martha Webster, Robin Meltzer, Karyn Kornfeld (photo credit: BFA)

The event also included a live performance of the successfully rising and talented music sensation Jay Allen and the skilled singer-songwriter Patty Smyth McEnroe. Jay Allen’s mother joined him on stage to sing the song that he had written about his mother’s early age battle against Alzheimer’s, “Blank Stares”, the performance was quite heartfelt and induced a feeling of compassion and bittersweet emotion among all those who attended the event and experienced this beautiful song.

Jay Allen invited his mother on stage to sing a song that would touch the hearts of so many. Allen, whose mother Sherry Rich was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, sang "Blank Stares," a song he wrote following her diagnosis.
Jay Allen invited his mother on stage to sing a song that would touch the hearts of so many. Allen, whose mother Sherry Rich was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, sang “Blank Stares,” a song he wrote following her diagnosis.

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
NEW YORK, NY – Princess Yasmin Aga Khan (C) and the California Cowboys attend the 35th Annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 23, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

Hearst McInerney got the California Cowboys, her favorite Western band, to play. After a few songs, Scandal’s Patty Smyth McEnroe performed a short set with them, an upbeat way to close out the evening.

“I have been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association for a long time,” said Hearst McInerney.  “I feel grateful to have been able to work with such a great group of women to advance this important cause.”

Jay McInerney, Anne McInerney, Yasmin Aga Khan
Jay McInerney, Anne McInerney, Yasmin Aga Khan

The 2018 Rita Hayworth Gala raised a remarkable amount of $1.6 million to be gifted as the charity to support research programs and studies regarding Alzheimer’s disease.

Guests included: Martha Stewart, Candace Bushnell, Susan Magrino, Anne Hearst McInerney, Oliver Johnson Kennan, Ashley Williams, Donna Dixon, John McEnroe, Stellene Vollandes, Jay McInerney, Sale Johnson, Margo Catsimatidis, Martha Webster, Robin Meltzer, Karyn Kornfeld, Nicole Miller, and Nikki Haskell

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart wearing an embellished denim dress and jacket from her own QVC clothing line, plus a pair of bedazzled sandals with the word “VOTE” spelled out across the toes.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s Association go to their website: https://www.alz.org



About Irene Michaels

Over the past 25 years I have taken on the roles of a producer, publisher, insider journalist and fundraiser. My artistic interests began early in my teens working as a model and a dancer throughout the U.S. I formed my first modeling agency before I was twenty. While modeling I secured a re-occurring role in the popular daytime TV series General Hospital. Read more...