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The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation made magic happen on December 2, 2008 at the foundation's 4th Annual Los Angeles Gala, Making Magic Happen, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. More than 400 gathered to celebrate philanthropy, leadership and vision, qualities embodied in founders Christopher and Dana Reeve.
Philanthropy Award winner Jane Seymour
Jane Seymour, long time friend of the Reeves, was honored with this year's Philanthropy Award. She first met Christopher in 1980 on the set of "Somewhere in Time." After learning that Christopher suffered a devastating injury, Jane reached out to her dear friend and asked what she could do to help. Since then, she has dedicated herself to raising awareness of spinal cord injury, mentoring youth and supporting various causes including helping children with disability.
Visionary Leadership Award winner Sam Schmidt
Sam Schmidt, former Indy Racing League driver, was honored with this year's Visionary Leadership Award. Sam was paralyzed from the neck down in January 2000 when his car hit a racetrack wall. After the accident, Christopher Reeve inspired Sam to go forward. Sam has worked tirelessly to broaden awareness of SCI and the research needed for treatments and cures. Now it is Sam who is inspiring others to go forward.
Military Outreach Program shines
1LT Reinaldo Gonzalez II was in the audience representing his commitment to the foundation's work and Military Outreach Program. He fell 35 feet during an Army Ranger training exercise resulting in paralysis. As part of his rehabilitation, Lt. Gonzalez participated in one of the Reeve Foundation's NeuroRecovery Network (NRN) centers, with great success. The lieutenant thanked the Reeve Foundation Tuesday evening by walking across the stage.
With the help of the Hollywood House of Blues Gospel Choir, Chairman Peter Kiernan led the room in song and closed a very special night for all in attendance.