LD Activist Jonathan Mooney to Emcee Smart Kids with LD's 11th Anniversary Benefit May 13 in Norwalk, CT

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Smart Kids with LD's The Sky's The Limit benefit, hosted by Jonathan Mooney, the acclaimed LD advocate and author, celebrates the nonprofit organization's 11th anniversary on the evening of May 13th at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. Honorees include Judi Bernstein who will accept the Community Service Volunteer Award, and 17-year-old Stamford native Ryan Haggerty accepting the Smart Kids with LD Youth Achievement Award.

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. (SKLD), the Westport-based nonprofit organization, announces its 11th anniversary benefit on May 13th at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT. "The Sky's The Limit" benefit will be emceed by Jonathan Mooney, the acclaimed LD activist who published his first award-winning book, Learning Outside the Lines, on graduating from Brown University, after learning to read at the age of 12. Mooney is also co-founder of Project Eye-to-Eye, the mentoring program for students with LD and ADHD, and accepted the SKLD Community Service Award in 2008.

Smart Kids is proud to honor Judi Bernstein of Tampa, FL, formerly of Westport, CT, with its first Community Service Volunteer Award. A founding member of SKLD, Ms. Bernstein served on its Board of Directors, wrote for its print newsletter and chaired SKLD's first six benefit events. She continues her passionate dedication to empowering parents to help their children with LD and ADHD succeed.

Also that evening, the 2011 Smart Kids Youth Achievement Award will be presented to Ryan Haggerty of Stamford, CT, honoring his accomplishments in overcoming a severe reading disability to succeed academically and as an athlete. Haggerty served as alternate captain with the Under-17 US National Developmental Hockey Team, winning the World U-17 Hockey Challenge in January last year. He will graduate from Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School after attending the Villa Maria School for children with LD and Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford, and will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on a hockey scholarship next fall. Two students will receive Special Recognition Awards: August Hunt of Paris, TX, a junior at The Kildonan School for students with LD in Amenia, NY, for his talent in photography and school leadership, including heading the new Kildonan chapter of Project Eye-to-Eye; and Jacklyn Sullivan, 16, of Levittown, NY, for her community-service initiatives, including a Passback Volunteer of the Year Award from the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and her selection as a semifinalist in the 2010-11 Young Epidemiology Scholars Competition. Honorable Mention Award winners include students from Providence, UT; Winston Salem, NC; Kettering, OH; and New York, NY.    

The gala evening will include signature martinis courtesy of Bacardi USA, hors d'oeuvres, food stations, and dancing under the stars in the Museum courtyard with the band DNR (Fairfield County's Almost All-Physician Rock Band). Guests will have the opportunity to bid on both a wine auction and live auction conducted by Greg Zaic, a general partner of Nexus Medical Partners who has raised millions of dollars for local charities as an auctioneer. The live auction includes lunch for four with Henry Winkler, the accomplished author, film and television star who serves as SKLD's Honorary Chairman. Additional auction items include tickets to Katy Perry's Mohegan Sun concert on June 25th, a day cruise from Norwalk Harbor with lunch at New York's Chelsea Pier, four nights at Caneel Bay on St. John's, one massage a month for a year from Performance Integrated Health in Westport, long weekends in summer, fall or ski season at two Vermont condos, a personal training session with fitness guru Amy Ross, a Lucky Dog package including a training session with Rob Mullin, and a week at a family vacation home in Castine, ME.

Guests may purchase tickets at the organization's web site at http://www.SmartKidswithLD.org, or by emailing Info(at)SmartKidswithLD(dot)org.

Sponsors for the 11th anniversary benefit include Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes (Visionary sponsor), Bacardi USA Inc., Elise and David Young and Odin Marine (Benefactors), The Churchill School of New York City, and the Fairfield County Bank.

About Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities:

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Inc. is a Connecticut-based non-profit organization providing information, support, and encouragement to families dealing with learning disabilities and attention-deficit disorders, while working to dispel the stigma that accompanies these conditions. Its comprehensive website at http://www.SmartKidswithLD.org, free e-newsletter and educational programs promote parents' critically important role as advocates for their children. Henry Winkler, the award-winning actor, director and producer serves as the organization's Honorary Chairman.

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Carol Ann McClean

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