New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
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NYEE's Holiday Ball Raises $400,000 for Retina Center

Gala attendees are seated during the awards presentation

New York (December 2002) -- More than 450 friends of The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary gathered recently for a festive 2002 Holiday Ball at The Pierre in New York City. The gala event featured gourmet cuisine and dancing to the music of Mike Herman and the Hank Lane Orchestra. Scott Clark, sports anchor for WABC-TV, emceed the program.

“We were thrilled to have so many supporters for this event,” said Joseph Corcoran, President & CEO. “We had 100 more attendees than at our Ball a year ago. It is a tribute to our honorees, our physician and professional family, and generous friends in the community.”

PHOTO: The Pierre ballroom sparkled with mirrors and candlelight for The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary's most elegant annual event

As usual, one of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of awards by Mr. Corcoran and Peter Frelinghuysen, Chairman of the Board of Directors. 

Joseph B. Walsh, M.D., F.A.C.S., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, was honored with the John Kearney Rodgers Physician of the Year Award for excellence in teaching and medicine. Friend and colleague Robert Della Rocca, M.D., gave a heartfelt tribute that described Dr. Walsh's many accomplishments and charitable activities. Dr. Walsh joined The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary as a resident in 1970 and has served as Chairman of the Department – one of the nation's largest providers of eye care — since 1988.

Dr. Joseph Walsh Crowd applauds for Dr. Walsh

Dr. Joseph Walsh (left) thanked his many Infirmary mentors, colleagues and friends for the award and recognition as John Kearney Rodgers Physician of the Year. The assembled guests gave a standing ovation at Dr. Walsh's introduction.


Louis H. Aborn, a major benefactor of The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Aborn Eye Research Laboratory, received the Margaret Loeb Kempner Humanitarian Award. Mr. Aborn was originally a patient of Virginia Lubkin, MD, whose research in the lab focuses on dry eye, corneal disorders, and development of ocular measurement devices. The award was accepted on his behalf by Dr. Greg Bennett.

Dr. Greg Bennett, Peter Frelinghuysen, Joseph Corcoran

Dr. Greg Bennett (L) of the Aborn Lab for Eye Research, at the podium with Peter Frelinghuysen (center), chairman of The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary's Board, and Joseph Corcoran, President & CEO, accepted the Margaret Loeb Kempner Humanitarian Award on behalf of benefactor, Louis Aborn. 

Alcon Laboratories, Inc., a global pharmaceutical company specializing in ophthalmic pharmaceutical and surgical products, received the 2002 Corporate Award for longtime support of education and research. It was accepted by Bill Weir, the company's Vice President for Surgical Sales.

Bill Weir, Mr. Frelinghuysen, Mr. Corcoran

Bill Weir, VP surgical sales for Alcon, represented his firm as it was presented with the 2002 Corporate Award by Mr. Frelinghuysen, and Mr. Corcoran.

Following the awards, Dr. Walsh was paid a "tribute in song" by noted Irish singer and a former star of Phantom of the Opera, Ciaran Sheehan.

Guests on the dancefloor     

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary's gala is noted for music and dancing well into the evening. 

Mike Herman & The Hank Lane Orchestra

 Mike Herman & The Hank Lane Orchestra.

The gala helped to fund the expansion and modernization of The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Comprehensive Retina Center, which will provide state-of-the-art technology and research facilities, expanded patient care and enhanced professional education. The total project is expected to cost $5 million and is due to open in February 2003.

Dr. J. Robert Rosenthal, Dr. Thomas Muldoon, Raymond Minicus

Dr. Thomas Muldoon (center), Chief of Retinal Services at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, previewed details of the facility he has been so instrumental in designing with Medical Director J. Robert Rosenthal (left), and VP/Chief Operating Officer Raymond Minicus.

“The Retina Center will be equipped with the most advanced diagnostic and imaging devices,” said Thomas O. Muldoon, M.D., Chief of Retinal Services. “With our unique services and equipment, The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary looks forward to serving our patients, including children and the elderly, in a modern and comfortable environment.”

The gala’s dinner chairman was philanthropist Florence D’Urso. Susan Liebowitz was the Journal Chairman. Gala Vice Chairs were: Peter Frelinghuysen, Sheldon and Judy Gordon, Sherman and Dorothy Lewis, Martin and Dottie Payson and Judith Zesiger, Chairperson, the Chairman’s Development Council.

The 2003 Holiday Gala will be held on December 3rd at The Pierre in New York City.


Photos from the Event

Among the 450+ guests:

Dr. Della Rocca, Dr. Walsh, Sheldon Gordon, William Miller, Joseph Corcoran

(L to R) Dr. Robert Della Rocca, Physician Chairman of the Event; Dr. Joseph Walsh, honoree; Sheldon Gordon and William Miller, members of the Board of Directors; and Joseph Corcoran, President & CEO.

herman Lewis, Dr. Elizabeth Jelks, Dr. Glenn Jelks

(L to R) Board member Sherman Lewis with ophthalmology alumna Dr. Elizabeth Jelks and plastic surgeon Dr. Glenn Jelks.

Susan Liebowitz, Martin and Dottie Payson

(L to R) Infirmary Board member Susan Liebowitz, who served as journal chairman, with Martin and Dottie Payson, who served among the Gala Vice-Chairs. Mrs. Payson is an officer on the Board. 

Dr. Steven Schaefer, John Budd, Matthew Trachtenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hessler, and Elaine Budd.

(L to R) Otolaryngology chairman Dr. Steven Schaefer, Board members John Budd and Matthew Trachtenberg, guests Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hessler, and Elaine Budd. 

Lloyd Stanford, Dr. Lee Angioletti, and Dr. Lois McNally

(L to R) Lloyd Stanford, Dr. Lee Angioletti, and Dr. Lois McNally

Glaucoma fellows

Glaucoma fellows had a chance to trade their usual white coats for elegant evening wear. 


Media Information

If you are a reporter seeking to interview this or any other doctor at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, please contact Jean Thomas, at (212) 979-4274, or Axel F. Bang, at (914) 234-5433.