The event was emceed by stand-up comedian Hunter Hill and entertainment was provided by actress Stephanie J. Block and actor Sebastian Arcelus. The program looked back at the last decade of lupus research accomplishments. Milestones that were highlighted included the approval of the only drug specifically developed and approved for the treatment of lupus by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as the establishment of the Lupus Research Program at the Department of Defense, which to-date has received more than $36 million in funding. Additionally, the event featured a special video highlighting the hope for the future with notable Foundation supported lupus researchers discussing promising research studies underway.
This year, the National Corporate Leadership Award was presented to Tom Kingsbury, Executive Chairman of the Board, Burlington Stores, Inc. Their support has helped the Lupus Foundation of America make a significant difference in the fight to end lupus – Burlington is a founding supporter of the stem cell clinical trial for lupus in the United States.
Special guests included actor Kazy Tauginas, star of Dolemite is My Name, and best-selling author, recording artist and photographer, Julian Lennon. Julian also serves as the Foundation’s Global Ambassador and has been steadfast in his commitment to raising awareness and funds for lupus research for more than ten years.