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Beloved designer honored at Alzheimer's fundraiser

Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center fundraiser
Jim Fitts

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Dan Carithers has made the world a more beautiful place.

The Jefferson native who studied landscape architecture at the University of Georgia after serving in the U.S. Army, has been hailed by numerous publications, including “House Beautiful,” “Town and Country,” “Elle Decor,” “Veranda,” “Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles” and “Southern Accents.”

His family, friends and clients know that Carithers’ gift for interior design is matched by his charm and sense of humor, and he has combined his skills and warmth over his career of 50-plus years.

So it was touching and bittersweet when Carithers was honored by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society of Atlanta during a recent fundraiser benefiting the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Carithers addressed luncheon guests who gathered in the Piedmont Driving Club ballroom by way of a video presentation hosted by 11Alive News’ Jaye Watson.

Afterward his wife, Nancy Carithers, spoke for both of them.

“As all of you know, Dan has never been at a loss for words,” she said. “There are no words to adequately express our thanks. We will always cherish this recognition. There is indeed hope on the horizon. Your support makes all the difference in this critical effort at this critical time.”

Event supporters heard from expert presenters Dr. Howard Fillit, a geriatrician, neuroscientist and founding executive director of the ADDF; and Dr. Allan Levey, chair of Emory University’s neurology department and director of the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, as they detailed research efforts regarding the progressive brain disease for which there is currently no cure. The National Institute on Aging estimates that as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, a number expected to rise as the population ages.

The event’s host committee was chaired by Bunny Williams with Anne Cox Chambers, a principal owner of Cox Enterprises, owner of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, serving as honorary chair.

The event’s co-chairs were Mary Rose Taylor, a founding member of the Alzheimer’s Society of Atlanta who lost her husband to the disease in 2008; and Leonard A. Lauder, co-chairman of the ADDF and chairman emeritus of The Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

“We can cure this disease in our lifetime,” Lauder said. “You are really all joining hands and joining souls in this great mission. We will find a cure. This is a guarantee.”

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