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MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2004

2004 was another trying year as Toni was physically unable to make the difficult trip by air ambulance from Cape Cod to Manhattan. Wings was again held at the New York Marriott Marquis on September 29, 2004. With co-chairs Andrea Cricklear and Cathy Rosen leading the way, over $800,000 was raised in a difficult economy. Presenting sponsor Credit Suisse First Boston headed a strong sponsorship leadership group, which included Banc of America Securities, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Knight Securities, Preferred Empire Mortgage, and Satellite Asset Management. Gregg Ettin and Clearview Trading provided year-round trading charity work for Wings in 2004. Billy Baldwin continued his spectacular role as co-host along with Entertainment Tonight's Jann Carl. Tony Orlando and David and Lynne Cone again joined with Wings supporters.

The evening opened up with the Sword of Light bagpipers of Local 3 IBEW putting the crowd in a patriotic mood. A beautiful video was played showing Mike and Theresa Beier, Toni Diamond and Warren Schiffer, and newcomer to Wings Claire Collier. Dr. Stanley Appel of Baylor College of Medicine was presented with the Diamond Award for his long-time work to find a cure for ALS by Warren Schiffer, who had his cell phone connected to a speakerphone at home so Toni could listen to the award presentation. David and Lynne Cone presented the Spirit Award to BBDO Senior Vice President Andrew Knipe for his work in raising awareness about ALS. Andy put together his own moving video as his acceptance speech. Finally, David Memmott, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley received the Michael P. Beier Award from Theresa Beier for his work for Wings since 2001.

The live and silent auctions went very well, with the opportunity to golf with Rudy Guiliani garnering significant attention. An opportunity to "play catch" with David Cone was so popular that two bidders agreed to both make significant donations for a double opportunity. The highlight of the event, however, was the challenge made to Billy Baldwin to shave his head for $50,000.

 Not only did Billy excite the crowd into pledging funds for his trim job, but a student from Northport High School joined him on stage and for a total of over $65,000, both Billy and the student received new shiny domes.

MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2005

Before Wings 2005, we lost founder Toni Diamond in November 2004 and then Spirit Award winner Andy Knipe in September 2005. But with the fantastic leadership of co-chairs Lisa Utasi and Mary McDermott-Holland, Wings surged through the 5 year/ $5 million mark, netting over $915,0000. Led once again by Presenting Sponsor CFSB, other major sponors were Goldman Sachs, Jones & Associates, Morgan Stanley, Preferred Empire Mortgage, Satellite Asset Management, Security Traders of Los Angeles, and Weeden & Co.

Billy Baldwin again acted as master of ceremonies, this time with Liz Claman from CNBC. The Marriott Marquis was moved by Warren's memorial to his wife, Toni, as a touching video to honor Toni was shown to the large crowd. Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons’ presented the Spirit Award to his friends Jean and Chris Angell. Also receiving awards were A. Scott Horak, CEO of R&J Construction (Humanitarian Award), Andrea Crikelair of UBS (The Beier Award), and Robert H. Brown Jr, MD of Harvard Medical College and Massachusetts General Hospital (the Diamond Award).

The live and silent auctions were again a big hit with items like lunch at the Four Seasons with the legendary Walter Cronkite and golf at Winged Foot in a foursome with his honor Rudy Guiliani! Another highlight was the raffle of a 2005 Mustang convertible. It was a great night with a very grateful event committee and MDA staff marveling at the generosity of the crowd from Wall Street and main street.

MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2006

We started working on Wings 2006 with sadness, as 2003 Spirit Award winner, Marge Danziger, lost her courageous battle with ALS. Again we were blessed with the outstanding leadership of co-chairs Lisa Utasi and Mary McDermott-Holland and a great committee as Wings broke the $6 million mark, netting over $780,000. Major sponsors were Credit Suisse, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Jones Trading, Morgan Stanley, Preferred Empire Mortgage, Satellite Asset Management, L.P., and Weeden & Co. L.P.

Unfortunately, Billy Baldwin was tied up filming out of state, but we were honored to have as our co-masters of ceremonies Liz Claman, co-anchor of CNBC's "Morning Call," and MSNBC anchor Rita Cosby, host of "Rita Cosby: Live and Direct." Liz and Rita were fabulous, as awards were given to Merit Cudkowicz, M.D., an MDA research grantee at Massachusetts General Hospital (the Diamond Award), Bill and Claire Collier of Stamford, Connecticut (the Spirit Award), and Tom Rice, Managing Director of Equities at Credit Suisse and a long-time colleague of Mike Beier (the Beier Award).

The live and silent auctions went well as some special guests were extremely generous in their purchases. Golf with potential presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani was a hit, along with a wide variety of golf outings, art, jewelry, trips, and dinners to fabulous restaurants. Also raffled off was a 2007 Maza MX-5 Miata, which was graciously donated back to Wings by the raffle winner.

MDA's Wings Over Wall Street® 2007

Wings 2007 kicked off with Credit Suisse naming Wings as its charity of choice for its annual holiday initiative thanks to 2006 Beier Award Winner and 2007 Co-Chair Tom Rice. The Credit Suisse holiday initiative brought in $119,000 and continued Credit Suisse as Wings' Presenting Sponsor. Also, Instinet donated its Last Daily Cross commissions for the week of January 8 to Wings to celebrate Instinet's 20th Anniversary, raising $110,000. While still in January 2007, the Napa Valley Vintners Wine and Food Pairings at Bayards brought in another $30,000. What a great start.

Unfortunately, 2007 also brought sadness as we lost 2002 Spirit Award winner Peter Demmerle to ALS. But 2007 allowed Wings to honor Dr. Don Cleveland of the University of California at San Diego with the Diamond Award, Dorothy and David Deutsch with the Spirit Award, past Wings Chair Lisa Utasi with the Beier Award, and Larry Schiffer with the Humanitarian Award. This year, award introductions and acceptances were prepared in advance on video so that everyone at the event could see and hear the honorees. Speaking about video, attendees were mesmerized by an emotional tribute to Peter Demmerle and his family.

With the great leadership of Tom Rice of Credit Suisse and Brian O'Day of Pulse Trading as Co-Chairs, Wings was held on September 20, 2007, again at the Marriott Marquis, with Liz Clayman as our host. Wings 2007 raised almost $800,000 for ALS research, with great auction items like a behind the scenes tour of Wicked and tickets to the 2008 All Star game at Yankee Stadium, bringing the total for Wings over seven years to over $7 million.

 

Wings History continues on: Page 3