Mar. 17, 2014

Lupus Mardi Gras Gala Raises More Than $74,000 for N.C. Lupus Chapter

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – March 17, 2014 – The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter (LFANC) announced that the 8th Annual Lupus Mardi Gras Gala, presented by the Dickerson Family Trust, raised more than $74,000, a new best for the event, and drew record-attendance with 285 people. Since its beginning, the Lupus Mardi Gras Gala has raised $466,000.

“Many thanks to our attendees, supporters and volunteers for making this event a huge success. To say that the evening transported us all to the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans would be an understatement,” said Christine John-Fuller, President & CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter. “Through this gala, we have the opportunity to make a difference in tens of thousands of lives of those living with lupus.”

Featuring entertainment by Hot Sauce, the event included: Creole cuisine; a silent auction; photo booth; a special performance by Aerial Artist, Aubry McMahon; fortune telling by AR Brothers Entertainment; a dance exhibition by Lotus Belly Dance; and illusions by Master Magician, and Conjuror Extraordinaire, Solomon Foxley.

The evening’s program included a video that spotlighted five individuals touched by lupus in monumental ways, and shed light on the importance of the chapter’s presence in their journey.

Guests were also treated to a Mardi Gras Masquerade Contest, luxury raffle, and crowning of the Gala King & Queen – Travis Manchester and Patty Dunn. Previous Gala Kings & Queens include: John Hairr and Susan Rowe (2013); Drs. John and Amanda Grimes (2012); Dr. Peter Capizzi and Brenda Stubbs (2011); and Tony Kouskolekas and Maria Dunn (2010); Richard Sharpe and Zaira Hidalgo (2009).

This annual event was brought to life in 2007 by Dr. Ginger Dickerson, a physician with Eastover University OBGYN. Dr. Dickerson, along with her brother Todd and father Don, created the Dickerson Family Trust to support of the Lupus Foundation of America and to honor their sister, Amy Taylor who was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 20.

About Lupus:
Lupus is an unpredictable and misunderstood autoimmune disease that ravages different parts of the body. It is difficult to diagnose, hard to live with, and a challenge to treat. Lupus is a cruel mystery because it is hidden from view and undefined, has a range of symptoms, hits out of nowhere, and has no known cause and no known cure. Its health effects can range from a skin rash to a heart attack. Lupus is debilitating and destructive, and can be fatal, yet research on lupus remains underfunded relative to its scope and devastation.

About the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter:
The Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter is part of the national force devoted to solving the cruel mystery of lupus while providing caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. We work with local health professionals and volunteers to provide information and programs to ensure people with lupus and their families get answers and health professionals know about new means to diagnose and manage the disease. The chapter serves an estimated 45,000 living with lupus in North Carolina.  For more information about lupus or the LFANC, visit or call (877) 849-8271. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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