On Saturday, February 13, 2016, a “Valentine Day Soiree” was held at the University Center Club on FSU’s campus to benefit the Brian Jackson Dystonia Research and Discovery Program, a joint initiative of the Florida State University College of Medicine and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.
The Brian Jackson Dystonia Research and Discovery Program was created with the generous gifts of Erwin and Stefanie Jackson in honor of their son, Brian. The ultimate goal is discovering a cure for Dystonia while increasing public awareness of this debilitating neurological disorder.
The event featured a performance by world-famous Davis Gaines. Mr. Gaines is widely known to audiences for over 2,000 performances of the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway, in Los Angeles and in San Francisco, where he received the Bay Area Critics’ Award for Best Actor.
Mr. Gaines is a graduate of the FSU School of Theatre, a member of the prestigious FSU Circle of Gold and a 1990 Grad Made Good.
Over 300 people gathered to support the cause and hear Gaines sing such stands as “Old Man River”, The Impossible Dream, and “I left my Heart in San Francisco (Tallahassee). Gaines, who exhibited his love for the ‘Noles and bantered easily with the audience throughout the night, provided an intimate performance that was appreciated by the crowd.
The event, which began five years ago, has grown steadily each year under the watchful eye of the Jackson family and help from the TMH Foundation. Notables in attendance included President of FSU John Thrasher and long time FSU supporter and local businessman Devoe Moore.
The Jackson family told Tallahassee Reports “it is quite satisfying to see our community embrace a cause that means so much to us and will ultimately benefit those who suffer from Dystonia. We are thankful for all who helped make this event such a success.”