NYU Child Advocacy Award Dinner Raises Over $6.5 Million to Battle Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders
The NYU Child Study Center hosted its Ninth Annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner recently at Cipriani 42nd Street honoring philanthropists Stanley and Fiona Druckenmiller for their deep commitment to organizations and programs that foster the success and well being of New York’s children. Chaired by Goldman Sachs President and COO Gary Cohn and his wife Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn, this year’s dinner raised more than $6.5 million to support the Child Study Center’s work to improve the research necessary to advance the prevention, identification, and treatment of mental health disorders in children and adolescents.
Childhood: Lost and Found, a short film produced exclusively for the Child Study Center by Nathaniel Kahn, Academy Award-nominated director of My Architect (2004), premiered at the gala. The film featured a series of short vignettes with patients and families treated at the NYU Child Study Center. It tells the emotional story of children and families impacted by autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression, selective mutism, dyslexia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder and how they have found a path to wellness through the NYU Child Study Center.
“When Dr. Koplewicz and the board started building the Child Study Center, donors seemed hesitant to contribute for fear that their children would be labeled as having a mental health disorder,” said dinner co-chair Gary Cohn. “Now, just a few years later—and I believe as a result of the Center’s visibility and public awareness programs—we are breaking past records and attracting astute donors who are impressed with the Center’s track record and see a real need for meaningful research and quality treatment to help give children back their childhood.”
Attended by 600 guests, the $6.5 million raised to support the Center’s work represents a 63 percent increase from funds raised at the 2005 gala.
Founder and director Harold S. Koplewicz cautioned, “Despite all our success, the stigma of mental illness remains all too prevalent. Our dream is the day when mental health is thought of as simply another part of one’s physical health. We are extraordinarily lucky to have donors who are passionate about fighting childhood mental disorders—and are proud to do so.”
Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller join a distinguished group of past recipients of the Child Advocacy Award. Past honorees include: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton; Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Tipper Gore; Governor George E. Pataki; Whoopi Goldberg; then Senator Jon S. Corzine and Joanne Corzine; Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.; Lawrence Summers, President of Harvard University; Leonard N. Stern; and Bob and Suzanne Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks.
In addition to raising funds for the Center, the gala increases awareness of the devastating effects of childhood mental disorders and demonstrates that the movement to battle these disorders and reduce stigma surrounding the issue is gaining ground.
A live auction conducted by Sotheby’s Jamie Niven raised $247,000 and consisted of a Z100 Jingle Ball concert package; a “Cheeseburger in Paradise” Jimmy Buffett concert package; an exclusive chartered evening on a 115-foot Benetti Yacht was auctioned three times; a sports package with premium seats to eight New York professional sports events; and a movie package with a walk-on role in a Barry Levinson film. In addition, Mr. Niven raised 31 contributions for a research fund totaling $490,000. #