It was A Magical Evening!

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on November 22, 2017 # Events

Last Thursday, we celebrated the 27th anniversary of A Magical Evening. It is without a doubt my favorite night of the year as we toast the past, present and future of the Reeve Foundation.

So, what happens when you assemble a group of passionate Reeve supporters in a room for one night? Amazing things.

Garrett Fitzgerald humbled attendees with his words of inspiration; Glenn Close moved the room to tears as she shared stories about Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve; Host Jerry O'Connell toasted his sequel performance as AME emcee; Will and Matthew Reeve celebrated their father’s dream--a world of empty wheelchairs--and how it is fast becoming a reality; and Rob Summers closed out the night by reminding us that there is always more to discover, and so we must never rest.

There were over 500 attendees, a beautiful blend of familiar faces and new supporters, all committed to helping uncover new scientific breakthroughs that will improve the health and quality of life for all individuals living with paralysis.

The theme of this year’s gala focused on the tapestry of connections that make up the Reeve Foundation. Our connections range from the researchers who have dedicated their careers to the pursuit of cures, to the families who reach out to the Foundation for support and guidance.

In the spirit of connections that have moved the Reeve Foundation forward, we celebrated two honorees who have made a profound and tangible impact on our mission.

The Bridgman Family

The Bridgman family received the Christopher Reeve Spirit of Courage Award, honoring their philanthropic efforts to speed the development of treatments for spinal cord injury.

“But being paralyzed forces someone to do a lot of soul searching. It forces you to dig deep. And early on I knew I had to make choice to not let my injury win. It had taken away parts of me, but it would not take away my future. I reflected a lot on Christopher Reeve, feeling connected to him even though we’d never met. My wife and I read his autobiographies, and he became more of a hero to me than he’d ever been in a cape.”- Christopher Bridgman

Henry Stifel

Henry was the spark who started it all. He received the Arnold H. Snider Visionary Leadership Award for his fierce dedication and contributions over the past 35-years.

“When I was injured in 1982, my father, mother, and sisters were forced to listen to a downtrodden, negative medical community because this neuro-research field was hopeless. Despite that, we all mobilized together and set out to change the then accepted negative dogma. A wave of support from all of you, generations of friends, led to a movement which today is changing the lives of individuals with spinal cord injuries.” –Henry Stifel

To keep the magic going, we have put together a few highlights from the gala. I hope you find the messages from our honorees a powerful and uplifting reminder as we head into an exciting New Year.

Thank you all for your ongoing support and for making A Magical Evening a night to remember.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.