Mar. 13, 2017

Lupus Mardi Gras Gala Celebrates 11th Annual Event with $78,000 Raised

Event photos (courtesy of Dez Ebanks Photography and Mackenzie Beatty Photography) are available for download. More photos are available upon request.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – March 13, 2017 – The 11th Annual Lupus Mardi Gras Gala brought more than the golden tradition of New Orleans to Charlotte. The event raised more than $78,000 for the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter (LFANC). To date, more than $671,000 has been raised from the gala.

Approximately 250 people donned Mardi Gras masks and evening wear at the March 4 event at Founders Hall, Bank of America Corporate Center to “help unmask lupus” and benefit LFANC. Presented by Bottle Cap Group, the event featured entertainment by Hot Sauce, Creole cuisine, a silent auction, photo booth, fortune teller, Mardi Gras Masquerade Contest, casino, luxury raffle and more. Nathan Richie, from The Lake 102.9, served as Master of Ceremonies.

A highlight of the evening was the crowning of the Gala King & Queen – Bryan Lantrip and Dr. Barbara Meyer. Previous Gala Kings & Queens include: Mike Smiley and Amy Dickerson Taylor (2016); The Ward Family of Rocky Mount, N.C. (2015); Travis Manchester and Patty Dunn (2014); 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).

“We are incredibly grateful to the generosity of our attendees, sponsors, donors, volunteers and other supporters in making this event a success and making a difference in the lives of the 45,000 North Carolinians living with lupus,” said Christine John-Fuller, President & CEO of the LFANC.

This annual event was founded 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. Serving an estimated 45,000 living with lupus in North Carolina, the chapter is the center of excellence for those affected by lupus, bridging patients, their families, caregivers, and the medical community. For more information about lupus or the LFANC, visit or call (877) 849-8271. For the latest news and updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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