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Staff Writer Chris Gardner and The Hollywood Reporter honored as a champion in the fight against ALS

9/20/2017 –Los Angeles, CA
(Printable Version)

chris gardner

The Hollywood Reporter


The ALS Association Golden West Chapter has announced its honorees for the 2017 Champions for Care and a Cure benefit to be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017. Held at the luxurious Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, this one-night-only special event features wine tasting, gourmet dinner, auction, entertainment, and presentation of the Golden West Chapter’s Essey Awards to notable heroes of the ALS community. The prestigious Essey Awards, named in honor of one of the Golden West Chapter’s founders, Richard “Dick” Essey, are given annually for outstanding efforts in support of our mission priorities in ALS research, care services, and public policy initiatives.

The Chapter will recognize Chris Gardner and The Hollywood Reporter as the recipients of the 2017 Spotlight Award, for their commitment to raise ALS awareness through their compassionate and detailed coverage of Hollywood publicist Nanci Ryder’s ALS diagnosis and progression with the disease. Since 2014, they have shared her story and that of those colleagues and friends in the entertainment community who have rallied behind her in support. Chris Gardner is an award winning journalist and writer. He currently serves as a staff writer and Rambling Reporter columnist at The Hollywood Reporter where he's worked since 2014. Gardner has also written for People, Daily Variety, Details, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, and Premiere. He has been seen on television on "Today," "Good Morning America," "Entertainment Tonight" and CNN.  In 2015, he won best personality profile at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards for his story about power publicist Nanci Ryder's battle with ALS.  The Hollywood Reporter (THR) is the entertainment industry's award-winning flagship media brand and is the definitive source for breaking business news. Other 2017 Essey Award honorees will include:

  • Justin Ichida, PhD with the 2017 Essey Commitment to a Cure Award for his outstanding achievements in the fight against ALS.  Dr. Justin Ichida is an Assistant Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) and a New York Stem Cell Foundation-Robertson Investigator. He is also a member of the California ALS Research Network.

  •  The Tanzman Family, including Joy, Susan, Debbi, and Ron, are the recipients of the 2017 Cornerstone Award for their unwavering support of the ALS community through the Golden West Chapter’s fundraising, awareness and advocacy initiatives over the past 15 years.

Proceeds from Champions for Care and a Cure will provide funding for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s mission priorities in care services, public policy, and cutting-edge global research toward effective treatments and a cure for ALS. For tickets and more information, visit


Jenica Lancy
Director of Communications
(415) 967-2572


Giovanna D'Angelo
Director of Special Events