St. Louis Society for the Blind & Visually Impaired Hosting the Visionary Gala on April 25

Mon, Mar 16, 2015

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St. Louis Society for the Blind & Visually Impaired Hosting the Visionary Gala on 4.25

Internationally Distinguished Leslie Dana Award will be Presented at VIP Reception & Fundraising Dinner

St. Louis, Missouri… You are cordially invited to join leaders in business, medicine, media, philanthropy, and social work as the St. Louis Society for the Blind & Visually Impaired hosts The Visionary Gala awards dinner on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at The Palladium Saint Louis.

The Society’s Visionary Gala will be highlighted by the presentation of the internationally distinguished Leslie Dana Gold Medal to Dr. Napoleone Ferrara, Distinguished Professor of Pathology from UC San Diego School of Medicine.  Society is pleased to present the Community Partnership Award to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (St Louis Arch) for making the Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion accessible to those with visual impairments.

The Society’s Legacy of Leadership Award will be presented to Ms. Alice Conway for her tireless efforts in advocating for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Drs. Sherine and Rajendra Apte are chairing the event and are joined by sponsors AT&T, Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, Northern Trust Company and Bethesda Health Group.

The Leslie Dana Gold Medal has been presented by the Society since 1925 to a scholar or clinician for commendable service in eyesight research, ophthalmology, vision sciences and related social services. Dr. Napoleone Ferrara is a molecular biologist who pioneered development of new treatments for cancer and age-related macular degeneration. He discovered vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) and made the first VEGF antibody, which suppresses growth of a variety of tumors. These findings helped lead to development of the first clinically available anti-angiogenesis inhibitor drug which has become part of standard treatment for a variety of cancers. Ferrara’s work also led to the application of these anti-angiogenesis drugs to the subset of macular degeneration in which neovascular growth can be inhibited or arrested with intraocular injection of anti-VEGF medications.

Tickets to The Visionary Gala are $175 per person or $1,400 for a table of eight. For event details, please call the Society at 314.968.9000 or see the Society website at

Founded in 1911, the not-for-profit St. Louis Society for the Blind & Visually Impaired enhances independence, empowers individuals and enriches the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired and their families. Its caring, committed staff provides specialized Vision Rehabilitation, Orientation & Mobility, Adaptive Education, Assistive Technology, Children’s Services and Support Services.

The Society provides older adults who are newly visually impaired or blind due to age-related eye conditions with home-based services, specialized agency services and community activities. It also renders services to school-age students in Illinois and Missouri. It is the only agency of its kind serving greater St. Louis, and the second oldest of its kind west of the Mississippi River.  

Visit the Society website at or call 314.968.9000.  Media contact: Jeff Dunlap at 314.409.5203.

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