2020 High Hopes Gala

Thank you! 

Thank you to everyone who virtually joined us for Joslin's 21st annual High Hopes Gala on Saturday, November 14. As our largest and most significant fundraising event, your support benefits every aspect of Joslin's work, and is more important now than ever before. We were honored to recognize Joslin's own Dr. C. Ronald Kahn as our Global Achievement Award Honoree. We also celebrated Millie Acampora, our Spotlight on Hope Honoree, and Noa Asher, our Merritt Levitan Youth Ambassador. We are thrilled to have raised more than one million dollars to support Joslin's groundbreaking research and world-class care

We hope to see you at next year’s Gala on Saturday, November 13, 2021!

Our Honorees

Dr. Ronald Kahn

Global Achievement Award Honoree

C. Ronald Kahn - Chief Academic Officer, Senior Investigator, Head of the Section of Integrative Physiology and Metabolism, and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Michael Cavanaugh

High Hopes Gala Special Guest

Michael Cavanaugh
Broadway Star Hand Picked by Billy Joel as the Star of the Musical, Movin' Out

Millie Acampora

Spotlight on Hope Honoree

Millie Acampora
Pediatric Patient

Noa Asher

Merritt Levitan Youth Ambassador

Noa Asher
Pediatric Patient

2020 Gala Information

Gala Honorary Chair

Ann Lagasse

Gala Co-Chairs

Ryan Enright

Megan Kristiansen

Gala Committee Members

Corinne and Brian Acampora

Ayelet Asher

Ryma Bielkus

Zara Bielkus

Geno Chiavelli

Eleftheria Maritos-Flier, MD and Jeffrey Flier, MD

Joanna Leary and Mark Gatti

Susan Kahn

Ann Foillett-Peterson and James Peterson

Arlene and Lawrence Rand, MD

Michael Samuels

Diane McGillicudy and Scott Sherman

Kristin and Tobias Welo

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors for their generous support!

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors 

Bronze Sponsors


  • Berkshire Bank
  • Cherrie and Andy Bessette
  • Betsy Cote 
  • Suzanne and Richard Fiore 
  • Jessica Hopfield, PhD
  • Infor
  • James and Debra Krasnow Charitable Foundation 
  • Randal D. Lilly
  • Eleftheria Maratos-Flier, MD, and Jeffrey Flier, MD
  • Arlene and Lawrence Rand, MD
  • Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh
  • Kate and Greg Saunders
  • Amy Slavik
  • Sullivan & Worcester 
  • UBS Financial Services, Inc. 
  • Peter A. Wilden, PhD
  • John A. Yozell 

Thank you to our 2020 in-kind donors for their generous support!

Michael Cavanaugh is the new voice of the American Rock & Roll Songbook and a charismatic performer and musician made famous for his piano/lead vocals in the Broadway musical Movin’ Out. Handpicked by Billy Joel to star in Movin’ Out, Cavanaugh evokes a style rivaling the Piano Man. He appeared in the show for three years with over 1,200 performances and received multiple accolades. The show culminated in 2003 with both Grammy and Tony award nominations.

Michael began playing at age seven, when his parents bought their first piano. Encouraged by family and friends, and inspired by his hero Billy Joel, Michael formed his first band at age 10 and began playing local functions, fine-tuning the craft that would become his chosen career. His first full-time gig as a musician was an extended engagement in Orlando, Florida, at a piano bar called Blazing Pianos. In January of 1999, Michael received an offer that would unknowingly change his life: an opportunity to play Las Vegas at the famed New York, New York Hotel and Casino. It was there that Billy Joel spotted Michael and joined him on stage one fateful night of February 2001. It only took two songs before Billy was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man: Michael Cavanaugh. Michael closed up shop at New York, New York and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp to shape the Broadway Musical that would be called Movin’ Out. In the lead role, he received both Tony and Grammy nominations.

With the close of Movin’ Out at the end of 2005, Michael began touring in his own right, creating a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook. Michael soon became one of the hottest artists in the private events market, and he continues to perform worldwide for company and charity events as well as sporting events including many PGA tour events, the SuperBowl, and the Indy 500. His interpretation of the modern rock/pop songbook led to Billboard calling him “The New Voice of the American Rock and Roll Songbook,” and he was recognized by Reuters as Entertainer of the Year for the private events market.

It wasn’t long before symphony orchestras discovered Michael’s talents and audience appeal. He accepted his first orchestral booking, “Michael Cavanaugh – The Songs of Billy Joel and More,” which debuted in April 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony and continues to tour today. In October 2008, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD, In Color. In June 2010, Michael debuted his second symphony show in the Generations of Rock series titled “Michael Cavanaugh: The Songs of Elton John and More” and then debuted his third symphony show, “Singers and Songwriters: the Music of Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Taylor,” in 2012. In 2015, he debuted his fourth symphony show: “Rockin’ Christmas with the Pops.” He continues to tour all four symphony productions along with performing with his band in performing arts centers and other public venues.

“The Way I Hear It”, his second commercial album, was released in April 2017, and it debuted at #17 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart.

In 2020, Michael Cavanaugh reached the POLLSTAR Live75. The top 75 active touring acts in the country.