Musical Moments was launched in 1998 by philanthropists Lee and Murray Kushner of Livingston, N.J to support the work of world-renowned neurologist Dr. Stuart Cook, director of the Neurological Institute of New Jersey. They envisioned a high profile event that would raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis, as well as funds to find a cure for the disease and support those living with MS. Mrs. Kushner was diagnosed with MS in the mid-1990s. Musical Moments has featured artists such as Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli and the concert events have collectively grossed over $12 million. “Our supporters have provided us with a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on finding a cure for MS and improving the quality of life for diagnosed patients.” says Murray Kushner. “On this 10th anniversary of Musical Moments, we thank them for their commitment to supporting the National MS Society and look forward to another successful event.”
To date, Musical Moments has provided funds to support two endowed chairs for research being conducted by world-renowned MS researchers at New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Stuart D. Cook, internationally recognized for his contributions to the field of multiple sclerosis, holds the Ruth Dunietz Kushner and Michael J. Serwitz chair for Multiple Sclerosis Research. Dr. Teresa Wood holds the Rena Warshow Chair for Multiple Sclerosis Research. Additionally, proceeds have helped to fund all of the MS Centers throughout the state of New Jersey including CentraState Medical Center, Holy Name Hospital, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, St. Barnabas Medical Center, and UMDNJ. Proceeds have also funded informational programs that educate people with MS and their families, professionals, community leaders and the public about multiple sclerosis; support programs that help people with MS and their families manage the impact of the disease; outreach programs that help people gain access to community resources and quality, specialty health care and advocacy programs that stimulate changes in the community and public policy beneficial to people affected by MS.
“Musical Moments is a spectacular evening that has an enormous impact on people who are living with Multiple Sclerosis,” says Jim Roberts, President of the New Jersey Metro Chapter of the MS Society. “Advances in research are moving us closer to stopping the disease, restoring function and ending MS forever. Thanks to the funds raised from events like Musical Moments, we are able to fund important research and provide programs and services to thousands of people impacted by MS.”