Child Mind Institute Raises Over $6.4 Million At Third Annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner

Organization Honors Michael D. Fascitelli, Chief Executive Officer, Board Trustee, Vornado Realty Trust, and Nora Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); pledges to help NYC schools heal from Hurricane Sandy

Dec 14, 2012, 13:46 ET from Child Mind Institute

NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Child Mind Institute ( raised over $6.4 million at its third annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street Wednesday night. These funds are critical in allowing the Child Mind Institute to continue its life-changing children's mental health care, pursuing scientific breakthroughs, and expanding education and outreach efforts. This includes wide-ranging work with children and families across the New York area in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The event honored Michael D. Fascitelli, chief executive officer and trustee of Vornado Realty Trust, and Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Mr. Fascitelli was the recipient of the 2012 Child Advocacy Award for his transformative philanthropic contributions to the cause of children's mental health and the establishment of the Child Mind Institute.

"There's nothing more important than our kids," said Mr. Fascitelli as he accepted the award, which was presented by son Nick. Speaking on behalf of himself and his wife, Beth, both members of the Child Mind Institute Board of Directors, he said, "We all have many great causes that we support, but this one has the most direct impact on the future."

The evening also celebrated the Child Mind Institute Healthy Brain Network and its game-changing research in childhood psychiatric and learning disorders, as well as the stories of families who have struggled with these disorders. A video, produced by Raeshem Nijhon (Imagine Health) and Academy Award-winning director Ross Kauffman (Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids) brought the organization's mission home through personal messages of hope from Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Thomas Insel, MD, director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Brooke Garber Neidich, Child Mind Institute board chair, and Joseph Healey at HealthCor Partners and Child Mind Institute board member.  The MC for the evening, NBC TODAY show anchor Al Roker, also spoke about the Child Mind Institute's tireless efforts on behalf of children with mental illness.

"When we officially opened our state of the art and family-friendly facility on May 3, 2011, we were fortunate to have City Council Speaker Christine Quinn declare it Child Mind Institute Day in New York City," said Dr. Koplewicz. "So we take our citizenship in the city community very seriously. When Hurricane Sandy made life so arduous for so many children and families here, we knew we had to do something to help and we are now present in over 100 schools across the city."

Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, president and founder of the Child Mind Institute, described the organization's Hurricane Sandy response program. In collaboration with the New York City Department of Education, Child Mind Institute trauma and public health experts are working with school guidance counselors and administrators to care for the mental health needs of children in the hardest-hit communities. Currently, the Child Mind Institute is serving one hundred elementary, intermediate, and high schools in Howard Beach, Ozone Park, the Rockaways, Breezy Point, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Staten Island, and lower Manhattan.

Dinner chairs included: Beth Fascitelli, Christine and Richard Mack, Julie and Edward Minskoff, Brooke Garber Neidich and Daniel Neidich, Debra G. Perelman and Gideon M. Gil, Preethi Krishna and Ram Sundaram

Guests included: The Hon. Christine Quinn, Donald and Melania Trump, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Stephanie LaCava, Dr. Max Gomez, Felice Forer Axelrod, Jerome Karr, Jared Kushner, Joan Granlund, Lise and Michael Evans, Jenny and Michael Price, Tania and Brian Higgins, Rob Wiesenthal, Anne McNulty, Claude Wasserstein, Mary Henry and Howard Rubin, Jon Mechanic, Serena Altschul, John Lykouretzos, Wes Edens, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Vanessa and Henry Cornell, Eric and Sarah Lane, Kate and Robert Niehaus, Geoffrey and Sarah Gund, Michael Gould, Jennifer and Jon Harris, Mel M. Immergut, Molly Jong-Fast and Matthew Greenfield, Erica Jong and Ken Burrows, Anne Keating, Marcia and Richard Mishaan, Valerie Mnuchin and Bruce Moskowitz, John and Amy Phelan, Brian and Eileen Riano, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, Anthony Scaramucci, Frank Sciame, Joseph C. Shenker, Wendy Svarre, Lenard and Fern Tessler, Glenn Fuhrman, Dawn Ostroff, Marjorie and James Kuhn, Linda and Arthur Carter


The Child Mind Institute is dedicated to transforming mental health care for children everywhere. Founded by Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, and Brooke Garber Neidich, the Child Mind Institute is committed to finding more effective treatments for childhood psychiatric and learning disorders, building the science of healthy brain development, and empowering children and their families with help, hope, and answers. To learn more, visit 

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SOURCE Child Mind Institute