‘TNT’ gala raises $600,000 for Weizmann Institute
Weizmann 2012 Leadership Award recipient King Harris of Winnetka with president of the Weizmann Institute of Science Daniel Zajfman. | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 16, 2012 4:16PM
The Event: Twelve-foot-tall comic book superheroes peppered the reception at the Fairmont Hotel Chicago, on Oct. 27 in honor of the 2012 gala for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. More than 400 guests turned out for “TNT,” the night’s theme of “Then, Now and Tomorrow” to celebrate the Institute’s larger-than-life achievements.
Based in Rehovot, Israel, The Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Home to some 2,700 scientists, its overarching institutional philosophy centers on creative collaboration and intellectual curiosity free from commercial restraints.
Cause célèbre: Philanthropist King Harris received the Weizmann 2012 Leadership award in recognition of his commitment to bettering the quality of human life through decades of philanthropic work.
“Besides (producing) medical research which benefits the whole world, Weizmann is one of the economic drivers of the State of Israel. And …how can science and technology drive our local economy? We need to encourage kids to get involved in technical pursuits — science, engineering and math,” said Harris.
President of the Weizmann Institute of Science Daniel Zajfman echoed this sentiment: “People do not recognize that they are living in a world that has been changed greatly over the last 150 years by science and technology. Just remember how people were living 100 years ago: life expectancy was 40. Today life expectancy is 82 years. Ask yourself from where the change is coming and you’ll discover what science has done for you.”
Despite the Institute’s relatively small size, seven out of the top 25 biotech drugs used around the world for treating debilitating and terminal illnesses such as multiple sclerosis or colorectal cancer have Weizmann roots.
The Bottom Line: The event raised $600,000 in support of Weizmann Institute’s mission to improve the quality of life for all humankind.