Experience the glamour of old Hollywood and support a special cause at April 25's Art-Deco Gala, which benefits research on myotonic muscular dystrophy.
A genetic disease that affects about 750,000 people worldwide, MMD causes the deterioration of muscles and internal organs throughout the body. It can be life-threatening, and there is currently no treatment or cure.
Two years ago, Edibell Stone and her husband, Todd, discovered that both of their sons, Nicholas, age 9, and Elliott, age 7, were diagnosed with MMD. In response, they formed the nonprofit Stone Circle of Friends with the goal of finding a cure for MMD. The Art-Deco Gala is a celebration of the two-year anniversary of the organization, which has already raised more than $300,000 for MMD research.
"We want people to know that Virginia is a world leader in MMD research and that it is close to a breakthrough," Stone says. Dr. Mani Mahadevan, one of the original discoverers of the faulty gene that causes MMD, is conducting research at the University of Virginia to find a cure or a therapy. Last year, he and his team became the first researchers to reverse the defective MMD gene in mice. Funds raised will go directly toward furthering Mahadevan's efforts.
The event (7 p.m. to midnight) will be held at the Children's Museum of Richmond, with music by Washington, D.C., swing band The Joker's Wild. There will also be a mystery-box raffle of fine jewelry and a silent auction of everything from work by local artists to winery tours.
Individual tickets are $125, but there are a number of levels of support, currently available at stonecircleoffriends.com.