Chris Leavitt is on top of his game as a real estate broker, but it’s his philanthropic work with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation that fulfills him most.
Real estate broker Chris Leavitt’s involvement in the fight against Alzheimer’s is as personal as it gets.
As the founding partner of the Leavitt McIntosh Team with Douglas Elliman, a real estate group that ranks fourth in the country, broker Chris Leavitt is well-known in the realty and social circles of Palm Beach and the rest of South Florida. Prior to setting roots here, Leavitt sold real estate in New York City for 15 years, fostering strong relationships with top agents in his network, one that now spans across the East Coast.
But when Leavitt isn’t busy closing multimillion-dollar deals in some of Florida’s most exclusive enclaves, he devotes his time to a cause that hits close to home.
“My father has been afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease for the past four years, and it just gets worse each day,” says Leavitt. “I felt it my business to get involved with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation to do whatever possible to help fund research for a cure to this horrible disease.”
Luckily, being based in Palm Beach worked to Leavitt’s advantage as the organization’s presence looms large on the island, and it happens to be led by his very close and dear friend Nancy Goodes.
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation works to accelerate the development of drugs to prevent, treat and end Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases. Leavitt’s involvement is helping to grow the nonprofit’s junior committee and create awareness for the preventive measures people can take to combat the disease.
“I have completely turned around the way that I live and take care of myself after getting the news of my father and learning how an exceptionally healthy lifestyle can delay Alzheimer’s onset,” says Leavitt. “It was a wake-up call that has had a huge impact on my lifestyle choices.”
Leavitt is also proud of the fundraising events the ADDF has held in the past: “Marcia Gay Harden gave a beautiful, touching speech at last year’s luncheon at The Colony [and there] wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”
Now, as many other organizations have had to do, the ADDF has pivoted to virtual events that are as important and popular as the in-person gatherings of years before.
What keeps Leavitt so fiercely dedicated to the organization? The idea of the life his father could have had.
“I wish so badly that my father could have enjoyed his last years traveling and relaxing with my mother,” he says. “Instead it is a hard, painful journey for him and especially my mother, who is his primary caregiver. This is motivation enough to not stop and amp up the efforts here locally as much as possible.”
Photography by: Nick Garcia