North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is thrilled to announce that its Celestial Soirée raised over $485,000 to support the Guidance Center’s mission to bring hope and healing to children and their families who are experiencing mental health and substance use challenges.
The Oct. 24 gala, which honored Louis P. Iglesias, president and chief executive officer at Allied World Assurance Company Holdings Ltd., is the Guidance Center’s biggest fundraising event of the year.
“The Guidance Center provides an essential service to our community,” said Iglesias. “The importance of providing a safe environment to address children’s mental health issues cannot be overestimated. I am proud to be part of such a great cause.”
A dedicated group of Guidance Center supporters made the evening a huge success. They include event co-chairs John Bender and Wesley Dupont both from Allied World; journal co-chairs Nancy and Lew Lane; and emcee Stacey Sager of WABC TV’s Eyewitness News, whose grace and generous spirit made for a fantastic evening.
“We are so grateful to Lou Iglesias and co-chairs John Bender and Wes Dupont for helping us raise the funds that support our mission to bring emotional healing to children and families who are struggling with mental health issues,” said Paul Vitale, board president at the Guidance Center. “Each year, we are blessed to have so many dedicated supporters who understand the importance of our work, and who enable us to serve 10,000 individuals each year.”
Sager, who emceed the event for the first time this year, said,“I can’t think of anything more critical than the mental health and well-being of our children. Working with a group as dedicated as the Guidance Center assures me that children and their families will always have a place to turn for the lifesaving help they may desperately need.”
A former client named John, now 17, spoke about his journey with ADHD, and how the Guidance Center’s unique Wilderness Program — which takes at-risk youth on hikes to nature settings— made all the difference in his success. “The reason the Wilderness Program is so important and helpful to people like me is because it’s a safe space for people to be able to be themselves and learn and improve at their own pace,” John told the audience. “The program made me feel like I could accomplish anything I put my mind to!”
Guidance Center Executive Director Andrew Malekoff expressed his gratitude to the honoree, speaker, emcee, donors, sponsors and all who worked so hard on the gala committee. “For more than 65 years, we have been dedicated to providing mental health services to all children and families, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Malekoff. “And because of the generosity of everyone involved, we will be able to continue to provide the best in care to the community.”
All proceeds will benefit the Guidance Center. To learn more about the organization’s services, visit www.northshorechildguidance.org or call (516) 626-1971.