Sometimes a little humor, and a little support, make the most demanding responsibilities manageable.
Washington, D.C.-based entrepreneur, philanthropist, and healthcare industry leader Jason Zuccari understands that personally. As the newest board member of the Alzheimer’s care and activism organization Hilarity for Charity (HFC), Zuccari knows how deeply a loved one’s suffering can impact their whole family.
“Having seen firsthand the ripple effects of my grandmother’s struggle with dementia, this vital work is close to my heart,” he said.
Comedian, actor, and producer Seth Rogen, co-founded HFC with his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, in 2012, after her mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. HFC provides grants to families and caregivers of individuals suffering from the disease, promotes brain health education, and aims to inspire the next generation of Alzheimer’s advocates.
With celebrity-studded fundraising events and a broad portfolio of programs, the nonprofit organization has raised $18 million and funded more than 400,000 hours of respite care. The HFC team is also invested heavily in brain health education and disease prevention research. HFC has also invested in brain health education, disease prevention research, and young emerging leaders in science and healthcare.
“We’re thrilled to reach this milestone and welcome Jason Zuccari, our newest board member. He brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to our organization’s work,” said Rogen and Miller Rogen. “With his leadership and respective experience, we look forward to the next ten years and beyond in expanding advocacy efforts, brain health education, and continuing the caregiver support that impacts so many families experiencing Alzheimer’s.”
In September, Zuccari hosted an east coast fundraiser for the organization, raising $300,000 and spreading ample awareness in the process. Every dollar impacts caregivers and brain health advocacy.
The evening benefiting HFC featured a discussion moderated by “Suits” actress, Sarah Rafferty, the Rogens, Washington Capitals forward, T.J. Oshie and “Shahs of Sunset” reality star, Reza Farahan. Each panelist described the far-reaching effects of the disease on their lives. Since the Rogens’ work specifically highlights the less-discussed topic of prevention, they spent some time explaining the research around what people can do to keep their brains high-functioning. Topping the list is sleep and learning new things.
HFC partners with Home Instead to provide respite grants to caregivers, which allows them the gift of time while knowing their loved one is safe and well-cared for. Oftentimes caregivers struggle with the feeling of exhaustion and the fear of entrusting their loved ones to anyone else’s supervision. HFC empowers family members with a little breathing room. By bringing a greater degree of professionalism to the quality and effectiveness of intermittent patient care, HFC helps show caregivers that they are not alone, their loved ones are valued, and they have access to the resources they need to sustain long term caregiving.
In addition, HFC offers free online support groups in English and Spanish, webinars and workshops for caregivers, and an annual storytelling and photography contest for young people who have been impacted by Alzheimer’s. HFC partners include science advisors, care advisors, celebrity ambassadors, and associates who advocate for the organization’s mission. The Rogens have also been active in lobbying on Capitol Hill for legislative action and increased funding.
Working with HFC enables Zuccari to make a positive mark on other families who can all too easily relate to his own story.
“After a decade of leading brain health advocacy and caregiver support, I know this is just the beginning of immeasurable impact ahead for the organization,” he said. “I’m eager to put my skills to the test and support the incredible HFC team in providing more opportunities to support families and caregivers in the fight against Alzheimer’s.”
About Jason Zuccari
Prior to his career advising senior housing and long-term care communities. Zuccari attended West Virginia University, where he was elected student body president and served as a member of the University’s Board of Governors. He also serves on the National Investment Centers Future Leaders Council, which seeks to develop the sharpest minds in the healthcare industry.
In addition to his philanthropic work—which also includes serving on the board of the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing under Governor Terry McAuliffe—Zuccari serves as vice president of development for Hamilton Insurance Agency, one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokerage firms.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.