Shirley Ryan AbilityLab: Sparking Hope







Two songs by Broadway actress and dazzling Glee star, Ali Stroker, ignited the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Spark! Gala at the Four Seasons. The first benefit since the AbilityLab officially opened in March 2017, the evening raised $2.5 million in support of comprehensive patient care and groundbreaking research sparking human ability.


Ali Stroker, star of TV, Broadway and film, performs.

Although a car accident at the age of two caused spinal cord injuries that paralyzed Ali from the chest down, she knew at the age of 7 that she was Broadway-bound and nothing would stop her. One of the Glee Project’s most popular stars, Ali has appeared in regional theater and on Broadway in Spring Awakening.


Lively conversation.


Vibrant colors and modern decor set the mood.

The evening’s chairs, Daniel Dolan, Lori Komisar, and Rich Murphy, along with AbilityLab President and CEO Dr. Joanne Smith, were on hand to greet the 350 Spark! guests. Jude Reyes, Daniel Dolan, and Michael Krasny served as the evening’s MCs.


Daniel D. Dolan with Mary Beth and Rich Murphy.


Joanne C. Smith, MD, President & CEO of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, addresses Spark! attendees.


Betsy Owens and Michael Krasny.

Named number one in rehabilitation medicine for the past 27 years, the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s continuing mission to be a global source of science driven breakthroughs in human ability is achieved through its innovation centers, where it integrates the work of medical and research experts.


Joanne C. Smith and Shirley Ryan.


Louis and Kitty Freidheim.


Daniel D. Dolan, Andy McKenna, and J. Christopher Reyes.


Dawn Meiners and Mary Galvin.


Lori Bravi and Linda Vincent.


Dr. Leora and Marc Cherney.


Shirley Ryan and Richard L. Lieber, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.


Marlene Welsh Phillips and Jack Sandner.


Joanne C. Smith, MD, President & CEO of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab; Caryn Harris; and Anne Reyes.


Keith Goldstein and Kathleen Cowie.


Carol and Peter Goldman.


Matthew Passen, Trisha Tesmer, Nicollette Khuans, Nathan Chambery, and Ted Fournier.


Craig and Kim Duchossois.


Cari Dinneen, Sandra Miller, and Maureen Mizwicki.


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