A Grammy winner, a renowned news anchor, and over 1,000 supporters of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research celebrated at Planting Fields Arboretum Wednesday.
The eighth annual summer concert benefitting the North Shore LIJ institute raised over $1.5 million for medical research programs.
The world-renowned center of medical research and its highly specialized scientists work to cure common diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lupus, Schizophrenia, and Type 2 Diabetes.
"You're not just focusing your attention on one area that might need help," said Good Morning America's Sam Champion, praising the institute's wide-reaching work. "These people do research, groundbreaking research…that will help hundreds of thousands of people, maybe more than that, all over the world."
The 14-year-old institute has had continued success despite cuts in government funding.
"So little money is coming in now from federal funding," said Bettie Steinberg, Feinstein's Chief Scientific Officer and Researcher.
"Less than 8 percent of grants submitted get federal funding so events like this are critical. They make it possible to continue the work we're doing."
Fundraisers like the summer concert are also used to highlight the work researchers do all year.
"It's really a celebration of the progress we've made on our mission to fight diseases," said Dr. Kevin J. Tracey, president of the Feinstein Institute. "It's also a time to rededicate ourselves to the work we need to do going forward."
After awarding fellowships and honoring recent researchers and projects, the party kicked into high gear as original American Idol Kelly Clarkson took the stage.
The Grammy winner's voice rang through Planting Fields with hits like "Behind These Hazel Eyes," "My Life Would Suck Without You," and "Walk Away."
The success of the night already had many, including Champion, talking about next year's event.
"This is my first time here but certainly not my last."