Thirteenth Annual HOPE Luncheon Seminar 11/06/19


Our warmest thanks to the over 350 supporters who came out for our Thirteenth Annual HOPE Luncheon Seminar on Wednesday, November 6th.

The sold-out event raised over $800,000 for HDRF’s research and received fantastic coverage, including People and SheKnows.

It was an amazing gathering of people, creating a special experience for everyone in the room. Check out the highlights:

HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss presented Grammy Award-Winning singer LeAnn Rimes with the 2019 HOPE Award for Depression Advocacy.

LeAnn’s speech moved many to tears and she received a standing ovation. She talked candidly about entering treatment for depression and anxiety.

“A day after my 30th birthday I checked myself in to treatment, and it was the best birthday gift I could have ever given myself because I don’t know if I would have made it to the next one,” LeAnn said.

The keynote speaker, U Penn’s Chair of Psychiatry Dr. Maria Oquendo, gave an illuminating medical overview of depression and anxiety, two complex conditions that are misunderstood but widespread.

Dr. Eric Nestler, Director of the Friedman Institute at Mount Sinai, then gave an update of the research progress of HDRF’s acclaimed Depression Task Force, of which he is Chair. Ten of the world’s most powerful labs have joined forces to accelerate life-saving discovery, and this fall they will start a clinical trial on a potential new antidepressant compound that shows promise for treatment-resistant depression.

We also met the real woman behind the Anne Hathaway character in the Modern Love series on Amazon: Terri Cheney.   Cheney is an author, attorney, and mental health advocate who has written poignantly about navigating career and dating with bipolar disorder.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think that being spectacularly bipolar would one day bring me to a podium at The Plaza” said Cheney to warm laughter in the audience while accepting the Ambassador of HOPE Award.

To wrap up the day, HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss presented the HOPE Corporate Visionary Award to Dr. Husseni Manji and Janssen Research & Development for their longstanding commitment to research into complex mood disorders like depression.

In March 2019, the FDA approved Spravato, a new treatment for severe suicidal depression that was decades in the making. Janssen Pharmaceuticals championed Spravato and invested many millions to bring it to market under the leadership of Dr. Manji, Global Therapeutic Head for Neuroscience at Janssen Research & Development, LLC.

We would like to thank the incomparable Chuck Scarborough for being our Master of Ceremonies, and all the HOPE Luncheon Co-Chairs who helped create this huge success: Ann Barish, Natalie du Pont Edmonds, Serena McKnight Bowman, Peter Gregory, Tania Higgins, Margo Langenberg, Marigay McKee, Kitty McKnight, Peter S. Paine III, Vera Serrano, Nancy Silverman, Scott Snyder and Felicia Taylor. 

Event Photos


LeAnn Rimes and Audrey Gruss

Maria Oquendo, Louisa Benton and Margo Langenberg

Els and Peter S. Paine III


Kim Heirston, Joanna Goldenstein and Tinamarie Clark

Beth Lemek, Trish Glowacki, Pat Figge, Kimberly Bitterman, Michelle Martinides, Mary Power and Chrissy Mccowey

Ellen Scarborough and Chuck Scarborough

Martin Gruss

Mary Snow and Eleanora Kennedy

Marina Pellecchi and Susan Gutfreund

Teresa Remez and Petra Levin

Annabelle Mariaca and Margo Langenberg

Jessica Gruss and Audrey Gruss

Jamee and Peter Gregory

Eli Thompson and Lis Waterman

Terri Cheney, author, attorney, and mental health advocate

Margo Langenberg and Annabelle Mariaca

Francesca Capetta, Frederick Anderson, Audrey Gruss and Christopher Ardant