October 12, 2012
For Immediate Release

Contact: Julia Bey Ahmet 973-463-9600, ext. 303

Nearly 700 To Attend Community Hope’s Sparkle of Hope Benefit Dinner Auction

Event to Honor Pharmaceutical Leaders from Merck and Otsuka to Benefit Homeless Veterans and Individuals in Recovery from Mental Illness

Community Hope is preparing for its largest charity event in the past 15 years with nearly 700 supporters expected to turn out for the Sparkle of Hope Annual Dinner Auction on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany, New Jersey. The annual charity event benefits the nonprofit organization’s residential programs, which serve 320 individuals a day recovering from mental illness and substance abuse. Community Hope is the largest charity in New Jersey serving homeless and needy veterans and their families and is developing a 62-unit “veterans’ village” at the Lyons VA campus in Bernards Township.

The fundraising event begins at 6:00 p.m. with an auction preview and cocktail reception, followed at 7 p.m. by dinner and an awards program. Lonnel Coats, President and CEO of Eisai Inc, the 2012 Honorary Chair, announced the honorees will be Mark Altmeyer, President and CEO of Otsuka America Pharmaceutical and Bruce Kuhlik, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Merck.

Mark Altmeyer is being recognized with the Sparkle of Hope Award for his and Otsuka’s contributions to advancing treatments aiding in the recovery of mental illness. Otsuka-developed medications treat schizophrenia, bipolar-disorder and major depressive disorder and the Corporation is forging new breakthroughs. With over 25 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Altmeyer joined Otsuka in January 2009 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, he spent over 16 years with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., rising from Sales Representative to Senior Vice President, Global Commercialization, where he was responsible for the global marketing of all neuroscience and oncology assets.

Bruce Kuhlik will receive the Hero’s Award for leading the Veterans Justice Initiative at Merck, through which Merck attorneys provide pro bono legal aid to our formerly homeless veterans. Merck is also being recognized for the Corporation’s financial support of Community Hope’s mission. As Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Mr. Kuhlik is responsible for the Office of General Counsel and the Global Communications and Global Public Policy organizations. Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Prior to that, Mr. Kuhlik was a partner in the Washington, D. C. law firm of Covington & Burling, where he was the coordinator of the firm’s food and drug and healthcare practice groups. Mr. Kuhlik has litigated a number of significant cases on behalf of PhRMA and its members, including cases involving the Hatch-Waxman Act and the Freedom of Information Act.

The Sparkle of Hope Dinner was founded in 1997 by pharmaceutical leader Fred Hassan, Chairman of Bausch + Lomb and Partner, Warburg Pincus. He sought to expand on the gains which the healthcare industry had made in improving treatment for individuals with mental illness by helping ensure sufficient community-based housing and services. In the past sixteen years, the Sparkle of Hope has brought together the pharmaceutical and biotech industries’ leaders in support of a common cause. The event has raised more than $5.5 million to provide housing and essential support services for veterans and other individuals struggling with mental illness.

Joining Founding Chair Fred Hassan and Honorary Chair Lonnel Coats in co-chairing the 2012 gala are John Crowley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amicus Therapeutics; Richard Goldberg, Managing Partner of R2 Associates, LLC; Robert J. Hugin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Celgene Corporation; Dr. Stuart Peltz, Chief Executive Officer of PTC Therapeutics; Kevin Rigby, Vice President and Head of Public Affairs and Communications for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Brent Saunders, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bausch + Lomb; and Paul L. Sturman, President of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

Presenting sponsors of the event include the ASI Business Solutions, Inc.; Bausch + Lomb; Celgene Corporation; Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Eisai Inc.; Merck; Novo Nordisk; Otsuka America Pharmaceutical; and Pfizer Inc. Diamond Sponsors include DRS Technologies; Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto; Fried Frank; Lowenstein Sandler, PC and Reed Smith, LLP.

Gala activities include a raffle drawing for vacation packages; a 50/50 cash raffle and a silent auction featuring original artwork and autographed sports memorabilia. In addition, guests can participate in a raffle for chances to win nearly fifty other prizes.

For more information on the Sparkle of Hope Dinner Auction, visit the events section of Community Hope’s website at or call the Development Office at (973) 463-9600, extension 308. Individual tickets are $145 per person and table prices for event sponsors range from $2,500 to $25,000.