Child Mind Institute Raises Over $6.8 Million at Child Advocacy Award Dinner Honoring Andreas Dracopoulos
The Child Mind Institute raised over $6.8 million and honored Director and Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Andreas C. Dracopoulos and University of California, San Francisco professor Dr. John Rubenstein at its sixth annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner at Cipriani 42 Street Wednesday night. The event was hosted by Katie Couric and attended by New York Jet and Healthy Brain Network Ambassador Brandon Marshall and his wife Michi. These critical funds will allow the Child Mind Institute to continue transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders.
“The Child Mind Institute is helping end needless suffering and opening up a whole new future for kids,” Katie Couric said.
Andreas Dracopoulos and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation have been indispensable partners by providing funds to launch the organization’s science program in 2010 and recently making a $1 million commitment to the Child Mind Institute’s Healthy Brain Network. They have helped the Child Mind Institute forge critical partnerships and communicate the message that children’s mental illness is a global public health crisis that requires concerted investment in science and research.
“Andreas’ unwavering commitment to our organization has been an integral part of the Child Mind Institute’s success,” said Founder and President Dr. Harold Koplewicz. “Through its generous grants, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has shown a deep and abiding commitment to helping children everywhere who struggle with mental health and learning disorders. We are truly honored to celebrate Andreas and his important work at our annual gala.”
Andreas Dracopoulos told the crowd, “I am truly honored to be here this evening celebrating with you the amazing work that Harold Koplewicz, Brooke Garber Neidich, and all of their colleagues at the Child Mind Institute have done and continue to do in the field of mental health for children at large. The Child Mind Institute is at the forefront of a truly remarkable and successful effort to help mental health patients and their families through clinical care, collaborative science, and open and honest conversation of how to help treat and/or cope with such mental health and learning disorders.”
Sponsored by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and parked outside the gala was the Healthy Brain Network mobile research vehicle, which travels to local communities in New York City to provide free diagnostic evaluations to families participating in research on the developing brain. A cornerstone of the Healthy Brain Network, the mobile research vehicle is a critical recruiting tool in the Child Mind Institute’s efforts to provide the scientific community with an open source, unprecedentedly rich, large-scale dataset, while improving access to mental health resources in New York City and beyond.
Healthy Brain Network Ambassadors Brandon and Michi Marshall also attended the gala and represented their nonprofit organization, PROJECT 375. The couple shares a deep commitment to eradicating stigma surrounding mental health disorders and Michi in particular has begun working closely with the Child Mind Institute. PROJECT 375 joins the Child Mind Institute in helping children through prevention and intervention with evidence-based programs, therapies, and protocols.
“Doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, rich or poor, mental health affects all of us,” Brandon said. “We are super excited about the partnership with the Child Mind Institute.”
The evening concluded with a lively auction led by Lydia Fenet of Christie’s, which raised funds for the Child Mind Institute’s financial aid program. At the beginning of the auction, Brandon got on stage and offered a surprise item: the opportunity to watch a Jets game in a suite with Michi Marshall. An exciting bidding war ensued.
Additionally, Dr. John Rubenstein, professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and the Nina Ireland Distinguished Professor in Child Psychiatry at the Nina Ireland Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology, was presented with the 2016 Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award in honor of his research on the underlying genetics of the development of the forebrain. His work helps identify the causes of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, providing new insights that may translate into improved diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.
Finally, the Child Advocacy Award Dinner also spotlighted the stories of families who have worked with the Child Mind Institute to overcome mental health and learning disorders. Both the 2015 Child Advocacy Award and the 2016 Distinguished Scientist Award were designed and donated by Michael Aram. #