October 9, 2007

LOS ANGELES—The House Ear Institute (HEI) celebrated the completion of the Wallis Annenberg Research Center at a gala fundraiser September 26 at the home of Rick and Tina Caruso, the evening’s hosts. The Wallis Annenberg Research Center, which will be an extension of the existing HEI building located near downtown Los Angeles, will enable HEI scientists to expand upon current cell and molecular research, studies in the genetics of hearing loss, and other areas.

This marks the second year the Carusos have hosted HEI’s annual gala, now in its 29th year. Emmy Award winning comedian and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres performed and led the live auction. Malcolm in the Middle star Jane Kaczmarek and her actor-husband, The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford, emceed. A special video narrated by Steve Martin was featured. Guests enjoyed a dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck Catering with Sterling Wines and special Oronoco Rum Mojitos during the cocktail hour.

In 2004, the House Ear Institute received a $10 million gift from Wallis Annenberg through the Annenberg Foundation to support its “Campaign for Building A Sound Future”. As vice president of the Annenberg Foundation, Wallis Annenberg has been a strong supporter of organizations that enhance the community through the arts, culture, and education. The gift to House Ear Institute builds on a significant commitment of the Foundation for providing access to health care and direct support to research and health facilities. In addition to offering philanthropic support to the Institute, Ms Annenberg is a member of its Board of Trustees. 

“The gift to the House Ear Institute from the Annenberg Foundation was significant in allowing us to expand our facility and take that important next step into new areas of hearing research,” says James D. Boswell, CEO of HEI. “We are honored by Wallis’ support and confidence in the Institute’s future.”

SOURCE: House Ear Institute