South O’ the Highway

Rita Hayworth Gala Kicks Off in the Hamptons

On July 29, Anne Hearst McInerney and novelist husband, Jay McInerney, co-hosted the annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala Hamptons Kick-Off in Water Mill with Gala founder, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan and the 2016 Gala chair, Karyn Kornfeld.

The Hamptons Kickoff was held in celebration of this fall’s 33rd annual Alzheimer’s Association Rita Hayworth Gala, which will be held on October 25 in NYC. Princess Aga Khan started the event in 1983 after her mother, actress Rita Hayworth, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Over the three decades, the galas have raised more than $69 million, supporting research for the Alzheimer’s Association.

Bill Brand and Karyn Kornfeld at the Rita Hayworth Gala Kickoff 2016
Bill Brand and Karyn Kornfeld, Photo: Patrick McMullan Company

Aga Khan introduced Gala Honorees at the Kickoff, including HSN President Bill Brand, and former NHL star and President of the Toronto Maple Leafs Brendan Shanahan. Additionally, Alzheimer’s Association President and CEO Harry Johns appeared, updating guests about the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto. Kornfeld also gave a speech about her devoted involvement with the Gala and how Aga Khan helped support her when her grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s.

After introductions and speeches, a silent auction raised money for Alzheimer’s research and support. As guests left the gala, they were given waffles from the famed food truck, Wafels and Dinges.

The Rita Hayworth Gala is held in New York City, Chicago and Palm Beach each year to raise money for Alzheimer’s awareness and research in honor of Rita Hayworth. After having many outbursts from what at first seemed to be from alcoholism, Hayworth learned that her tantrums were due to Alzheimer’s disease. Hayworth soon became the first publicly significant figure with the disease, struggling with its symptoms until she died in 1987. Her death sparked Aga Khan to team up with The Alzheimer’s Association to raise money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association provides for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease with local services, a 24/7 Helpline, support groups, online message boards and other resources.

Learn more at

Anne Hearst McInerney, Karyn Kornfeld, Yasmin Aga Khan at the Rita Hayworth Gala Kickoff 2016
Anne Hearst McInerney, Karyn Kornfeld, Yasmin Aga Khan, Photo: Patrick McMullan Company
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