Event Recap: 64th annual Spirit of Achievement Awards honoring Linda Ronstadt, Penny Drue Baird, Dottie Herman, and Allen M. Spiegel, M.D @EinsteinMed @ronstadtlinda @JillMartin

On Tuesday May 15, 2018 The Albert Einstein College Women’s Division held the 64th annual Spirit of Achievement Awards at The Rainbow Room in New York to honor Music Icon and Grammy Award Winning Artist Linda Ronstadt, Renowned Interior Designer Penny Drue Baird, CEO of Douglas Elliman Dottie Herman and EVP and Chief Academic Officer Dean Allen M. Spiegel.

NBC’s Today Show Contributor Jill Martin was Master of Ceremonies and longtime Music Critic of The New York TimesJohn Rockwell was there to accept the award on behalf Linda Ronstadt who was unable to attend due to her Parkinson’s illness.


This year’s event was attended by 250 supporters and hosted by Co-Presidents of the Women’s Division Terri Goldberg and Trudy Schlachter and Luncheon Chairs Carol Roaman and Andrea Stark. The luncheon committee included Linda Altman, Judy Baron, Mindy Feinberg, Arlene Fischer, Mary Loving, Madge Miller, Pamela Pantzer, Adrianne Silver, Audrey Wilf among others.

All honorees shared touching stories of their own experiences about how cancer has impacted their lives as well as their accomplishments.

An impassioned video of the revolutionary work being done at Montifiore Einstein was shown to guests followed by a meaningful speech from Dean Allen M. Spiegel about his twelve years at the college.

 Andrea Stark hosted a Q & A with Penny Drue Baird about her “having it all” and John Rockwell was pleased to accept the award on behalf on his dear friend Linda Ronstadt for her advocacy for Parkinson’s research as guests listened to the music icon as the luncheon came to a close.


The premier Spirit of Achievement Awards began as a mother-daughter luncheon honoring Marlene Dietrich and her daughter Maria Riva in 1954 was the very first “Benefit Luncheon” in Manhattan.  It is now considered a power house luncheon for modern day women in all fields from acting to journalism to medicine.


The list of names associated with the Spirit Luncheon is unparalleled.  Past honorees include Eleanor Roosevelt, Meryl Streep, Barbara Walters, Sharon Stone, Christine Baranski, Anne Bancroft, Jane Pauley, Gloria Steinem, Twyla Tharp, Candice Bergen, Barbara Cocoran, Hoda Kotb, Cynthia Nixon, Whoopi Goldberg, Cindy Crawford, Katie Couric, Vera Wang, Iris Apfel, Shirley MacLaine, Elsa Peretti, Joyce Carol Oats, Diane Von Furstenberg, Patricia Field, Susan Lucci, Glenn Close, Diane Sawyer, Nora Ephron, Evelyn Lauder, Jill Martin, Donna Karan and many others.



Since its inception, the Women’s Division has raised over $100 million and has established: a Wing for Prenatal Studies and Research in Birth Defects, a Clinical Research Institute for Child Development, and funded major research in immunodiagnosis and immunotherapy in cancer.

This year’s luncheon continued to raise funds for comprehensive health care for women through cutting-edge research, discovery and teaching, as well as providing specialty care for all women.

The dedicated members of the Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine are a driving force in aiding medical research and education for the development of innovative treatments and cures for life-threatening conditions.

Photos by: Annie Watt

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