Donations included a $25 million gift from board member Christine E. Lynn, who was being honored at the event with the organization's humanitarian award, to build a state-of-the-art spinal cord research facility. The facility, which will be named the Christine E. Lynn Tower for the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis in recognition of Lynn's gift, will feature surgical suites, an in-patient rehabilitation hospital, and rehabilitation research entities designed to enhance the Miami Project's efforts to find a cure for paralysis.
Other gifts announced at the event included $1 million each from board members Paul DiMare and his wife, Swanee, and Tim Gannon, co-founder of the Outback Steakhouse chain.
The Buoniconti Fund was established in 1992 by NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti and his family to support the national and international goals of the Miami Project, which was created in 1985 by Barth A. Green and Buoniconti to facilitate spinal cord injury research. Buoniconti's son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury while playing football in college.
"This collective effort from globally known celebrities and philanthropists is a remarkable testament to their commitment to the Buoniconti Fund's efforts and the research conducted at the Miami Project," said Nick Buoniconti. "Destination Fashion is an event without compare that helps promote awareness and raises funds for a cause that affects millions of people worldwide and has an economic impact in the billions of dollars. That is why it is imperative that we succeed in our mission of finding a cure for paralysis, and [Destination Fashion] goes a long way to helping us get there."