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|Elon Musk ||Barbara Natterson-Horowitz ||Ted Gagliano ||Chelsea Handler ||Kate Berg |
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The Visionary Ball 2012 brought together 650 guests at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on October 25 in honor of the medical miracles of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery and 2012 honorees. The gala co-chairs, Edie Baskin Bronson, Beth Friedman and Tony Pritzker produced yet another evening to remember. The emcee Maria Menounos of Extra, gave a fresh and entertaining spin to the evening's program of events.
Dr. Neil Martin, Chairman of UCLA Neurosurgery, opened the ceremony with a message of gratitude to the guests who make UCLA's mission of beating impossible odds and saving lives everyday, a reality. Richard "Steelo" Vasquez and the Groovalos ignited the entertainment with a special hip-hop dance performance. Steelo survived two ruptured aneurysms with the help of an emergency brain surgery performed by Dr. Martin. His sensational comeback to the stage was a tribute to UCLA's promise always to try to beat impossible odds.
The 2012 Award Recipients Were:
- Visionary Award: Elon Musk, CEO/CTO of Space X, honored for his innovative work in developing the first commercial spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station. Award presented by Jon Favreau.
- Medical Visionary Award: Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, UCLA Cardiologist and author of Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health, recognized for inventing a new science. Award presented by Chancellor Gene Block.
- Luminary Award: Ted Gagliano, President of Feature Post Production at 20th Century Fox, honored for his generosity and dedication to advancing brain cancer treatments at UCLA. Award presented by Tom Sherak.
- Rodney Respect: Chelsea Handler, comedian, was acknowledged for carrying on the spirit of Rodney Dangerfield by bringing laughter to patients everywhere. Award presented by Gabrielle Reese and Joan Dangerfield.
- Courage Award: Kate Berg's life was interrupted by a stroke at 27. As a gift to UCLA for saving her life, Berg launched the first after party called The Lab Party at the Visionary Ball. This unique addition encourages the next generation of Los Angeles philanthropists to give back to those in need. Award presented by Kate's father, Jeff Berg.
Other patients shared their illuminating stories of triumph over their disease, including Jengi Martinez, a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Dr. Marvin Bergsneider performed a minimally invasive endoscopic brain surgery through her nose to remove a pituitary tumor, allowing Jengi to return to the cockpit to continue serving the country.