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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

2015 Helen Keller Achievement Awards

illustration of Manhattan skyline featuring Essex House

2015 Helen Keller Achievement Award Honorees*:

  • Apple Inc.
  • Charlie Cox
    Actor, star of new Marvel's Daredevil series on Netflix
  • Ward Marston
    Musical artist & producer/recording engineer
  • Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.


J.W. Marriott Essex House New York
160 Central Park South
New York City

Past awardees include leaders from business such as General Motors, McGraw Hill, and Time Warner as well as giants from the performing arts including Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Patty Duke.

Proceeds from this stellar fundraising gala will enable us to continue to provide our vital programs and services that remove barriers, create opportunities, and expand possibilities for people with vision loss. Your generous support is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Honorary Chairs

J.W. Marriott, Jr.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Marriott International, Inc.

Alex Trebek
Host of Jeopardy!

Dinner Chairs

Paolo Baroldi, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Lisa Jackson
Vice President, Environmental Initiatives
Apple Inc.

Meg LaVigne
President of Television
Litton Entertainment

Glen Weiss
Executive Vice President, Director of Leasing
Vornado Realty Trust

Dinner Committee

Lori B. Adair
Account Executive
Marriott International, Inc.

Dina M. Grilo
Program Manager, Office of Nonprofit Engagement
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Sarah Herrlinger
Senior Product Management, Accessibility
Apple Inc.

Kate Holland
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Matthew Kaplowitz
President and Chief Creative Officer
Bridge Multimedia

Rachael Szporn
Director of PR & Events

*About AFB’s 19th Annual Helen Keller Achievement Award Honorees

Apple Inc. deeply believes in advancing humanity by making its products accessible to people with various disabilities. Intuitive by design, Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch come with assistive features that allow people with disabilities to experience the fun and function of the Apple ecosystem. With these innovative technologies built right in, Apple products become powerful and affordable assistive devices.

Charlie Cox is an English actor best known for his starring role as Tristan Thorne in Stardust and for his supporting role in the second and third seasons of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Cox plays the title role of Matt Murdock in Marvel's Daredevil series released on Netflix.

Ward Marston is a Philadelphia-based musician, band leader, and music restorer who has received numerous accolades for re-mastering classical recordings ranging from Rachmaninoff to ragtime. Blind since infancy, he has jammed with Count Basie, played piano at the White House, and organ at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, among many other memorable gigs.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VNDA) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of products for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. In addition to Hetlioz®, it also produces Fanapt®, a pharmaceutical for the treatment of schizophrenia with other products in the pipeline.

Press Release

For reservations or dinner journal information: Suzette Williams, Development Associate
tel: (212) 502-7621 - email: Online reservations and payments.

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