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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Matthew Reeve, a guest, Glenn Close, William Reeve and DJ Whoo Kid attend "A Magical Evening" Gala hosted by The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation a at Conrad Hotel on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation)

Thursday night, The Conrad New York Hotel in lower Manhattan played host to the annual Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s A Magical Evening gala.  The event was emceed by actor Jerry O’Connell and featured guests including Oscar nominated actress Glenn Close and musician Joan Osborne.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. Through the Reeve Foundation’s persistence and promise, neuroscientists around the world agree that repairing the damaged spinal cord is not a question of if, but a question of when.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 16: Rob Summers (L) and Jerry O’Connell speak onstage during “A Magical Evening” Gala hosted by The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation a at Conrad Hotel on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation )

This is the third year where Manhattan Digest was able to cover the event, which seems to provide better news each and every time we are there in terms of finding ways to improve the lives of people who have suffered from spinal cord injuries.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 16: Honoree Henry G. Stifel III during “A Magical Evening” Gala hosted by The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation a at Conrad Hotel on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation)

The events honorees that night include The Bridgman Family, who husband & father Chris in February 2010 incurred a spinal cord injury while riding his dirt bike, and Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation board member Henry G. Stifel III, who suffered a spinal cord injury in an automobile accident in 1982.  Both who received thunderous applause for their work with the foundation and how their lives have improved since both their accidents.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 16: Glenn Close speaks onstage during “A Magical Evening” Gala hosted by The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation a at Conrad Hotel on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation)

Glenn Close came up on stage to discuss her relationship with Christopher, who got very emotional while discussing her fondness of the late actor & champion.  She told a funny story about meeting him with Robin Williams during the making of the movie The World According to Garp, and how Chris would pick Robin up each weekend from his plane and drop him off in an altered state upon return which got the crowd laughing.

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 16: Joan Osborne performs during “A Magical Evening” Gala hosted by The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation a at Conrad Hotel on November 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation)

The evening ended with singer Joan Osborne performing a medley of different songs, including her biggest hit “One of Us”.  The event that night raised $57,000 in pledges from the audience in The Conrad Hotel, and finished on a high note in many different ways.

For more information on the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, please check out their official website.

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