Natalie Morales, News Anchor of NBC News’ TODAY & Co-Host of the third hour, will host the evening, for the third consecutive year, to benefit the vital programs and ongoing services for children and families at the Ackerman Institute for the Family.
“I support the Ackerman Institute for the Family because it helps conventional and unconventional families address and overcome deep and sometimes painful personal and societal issues,” says Natalie Morales. “Ackerman is a dynamic institution that is continuously evolving and keeping pace with today’s families in a society that is more complex every day. Family is important to me, and Ackerman believes that strong family bonds and communication are important to the strength of our communities. And I agree wholeheartedly.”
“We are excited to have Natalie Morales once again emcee our biggest fundraiser of the year: the Ackerman Institute’s Moving Families Forward gala,” says Lois Braverman, President & CEO, Ackerman Institute for the Family.“By giving of her time and talent to help lead our event to success, she is speaking volumes about the importance of family in our society and in our lives. I am grateful to Natalie for lending her support and celebrity in this way.”
Colin Farrell, Actor & Family Advocate will be honored at the Gala with the Ackerman Moving Families Forward Award.
“It is my deep privilege to be honored by the Ackerman Institute for the Family,” says Colin Farrell. “Throughout the years, Ackerman has provided a platform of shared knowledge and experience that is essential for the sense of community that all parents long for, for themselves and their children. For parents who have been blessed with a child with Special Needs, this sense of community and togetherness takes on an even more immediate importance. The involvement and support offered throughout Ackermans various programs have made a great difference in so many lives and so I am truly humbled to accept this award. As a proud father of a child with Special Needs, I accept it in honor of all parents everywhere, who work tirelessly to ensure that their children get all the care and support that they both need and so richly deserve.”
“Raising a child with special needs puts the family in a category all of its own, ” says Lois Braverman. “The child’s needs become a powerful organizing force within the family and at the same time create intense challenges and strong emotions affecting family life and relationships. Families with special needs children often are underserved by the medical, educational and mental health communities. Colin Farrell’s work with the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome reflects his deep understanding about the many challenges that families with special needs children face. We are grateful to him for accepting our Moving Families Forward Award and for helping us raise awareness about our work promoting family resilience for families with special needs children.”
Jeannie Ackerman Curhan, Ackerman Board Member will be honored with the Ackerman Distinguished Service Award.
“Knowing your family history is one of the things that contributes to the resilience of family members,” observes Braverman. “Just as family history is important to individuals, so is Ackerman’s history to our ability to Move Families Forward. Through Jeannie Ackerman Curhan, the daughter of our founder, Nathan Ackerman, we maintain our connection with our history. Her presence and voice on our Board, her commitment to our work with families and to our capacity for growth and change has empowered us as an Institute.”
Christopher J. Spano, President, CJS Builders, will be honored with the Ackerman Corporate Partner Award.
“Moving, after 53 years, from the Upper East Side to the Flatiron District in Manhattan is no easy task,” explains Braverman. “Working with a construction company that is exceptionally competent, as well as compassionate and committed to our mission, made this project particularly fulfilling. Chris understood our needs and he helped us create a facility that is both therapeutic and beautiful for the families that we treat and the therapists that we train.”
Moving Families Forward Gala Co-Chairs are Martha Fling and Alice Netter. They are members of the Board of Directors of the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and staunch supporters of its work on behalf of the well-being of children and families of our communities.
The entertainment for the Gala will be John Pizzarelli Quartet with Bucky Pizzarelli.
The host of the auction will be C. Hugh Hildesley, Executive Vice President, Sotheby’s.
Since 1960, the Ackerman Institute for the Family has achieved international prominence and earned national awards for the development of innovative models of family therapy, professional training, and community programs for families facing major life challenges. One of the first training institutions in the United States committed to promoting family functioning and family mental health, Ackerman is dedicated to helping families at all stages of family life.
TICKETS: To purchase tickets to the Moving Families Forward Gala call 914-579-1000 or email: AckermanGala@BuckleyHallEvents.com.