Birch Family Services will honor Roger Ross Williams, Publicis Media and Tara Rudnicki, Tobii Dynavox at their 42nd Anniversary Gala on May 11th in NYC

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Birch Family Services, a New York City not-for-profit that serves individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families, will celebrate its 42nd Anniversary serving the NYC community at its annual Gala on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at The Prince George Ballroom at 15 East 27th Street. The Gala will recognize individuals and corporations whose vision, leadership and efforts are central to the theme—Celebrating Our Achievements and Building Our Future.

We are honored to receive the Birch Family Corporate Vision Award,” said Tim Jones, CEO of Publicis Media Americas. “Our organization believes that fostering an inclusive culture where all talent can thrive makes Publicis Media stronger and the work we do

Birch Family Services, a New York City not-for-profit that serves individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families, will celebrate its 42nd Anniversary serving the NYC community at its annual Gala on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at The Prince George Ballroom at 15 East 27th Street. The Gala will recognize individuals and corporations whose vision, leadership and efforts are central to the theme—Celebrating Our Achievements and Building Our Future. Matt Sturiale, President and CEO, Birch Family Services believes this event marks a great year for Birch stating, “Now more than ever, it is essential for us to reflect on the progress and achievements that have been made with a careful eye towards transforming and building a strong future for the individuals and families we support.” The Gala kicks off at 6:30pm with a cocktail reception followed by dinner, a silent auction and an awards presentation.

This year’s honorees include Roger Ross Williams, Producer and Director of Life, Animated. Mr. Williams has been a voice for underrepresented populations since his first film, Music by Prudence. His current film, Life, Animated –a 2017 Academy Award nominee– is about Owen Suskind, who people look past and are uncomfortable with because he’s autistic and doesn’t have the same social norms. On receiving the 2017 Voices of Hope Award, Mr. Williams said, “It is an honor to be recognized by an organization like Birch Family Services whose work is so important in this world. It’s important to give a voice to outsiders. For me, it’s about empowering people with disabilities to be the heroes of their own stories.”

Publicis Media will receive the Corporate Vision Award. “We are honored to receive the Birch Family Corporate Vision Award,” said Tim Jones, CEO of Publicis Media Americas. “Our organization believes that fostering an inclusive culture where all talent can thrive makes Publicis Media stronger and the work we do for our clients better.” Since 2015, Publicis Media has worked with Birch to build a more inclusive workforce, partnering to recruit, hire and retain talented individuals from their New Frontier Employment Program. Publicis is a leader in their efforts to build a more diverse corporate culture that integrates individuals with different abilities.

Tara Rudnicki, President, Tobii Dynavox, will receive the Birch Legacy Award. Ms. Rudnicki has been a champion of the disability community with her commitment to bring innovative and life-changing technologies to thousands of people with disabilities around the globe, helping them live fuller, more independent lives. “Empowering individuals with autism, ALS, Rett syndrome and other developmental disabilities is at the heart of everything I am able to be part of within this community,” said Tara Rudnicki, President of Tobii Dynavox. “I am deeply honored to accept the Birch Legacy Award on behalf of the entire Augmentative and Alternative Communication network. Birch Family Services is an exemplary organization that is directly aligned with our mission to advance positive change, remove barriers and create life-changing opportunities.”

Proceeds from the Gala will support Birch’s large network of schools, residences, and programs throughout New York City. Since 1975, Birch Family Services has provided innovative and superior programs that reach across the life span to ensure that the individuals we serve can reach their full potential and lead vibrant lives.

Tickets to the gala are $400 and sponsorships range from $1,000 - $50,000. To cover the event, purchase tickets or become a sponsor please call 212.616.1886 or visit http://www.birchfamilyservicesgala.com.

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About Birch:
At Birch Family Services, we are dedicated to supporting people with autism and other developmental disabilities as they learn, through our education and community programs, to live more independently, obtain competitive employment and become integral members of their communities. This is done with the support of individuals, families, staff and community partners who share our vision of helping children, adolescents and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities achieve their dreams.

Since 1975, Birch Family Services has served over 18,000 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families throughout New York City. We have grown from a single classroom to 30 sites throughout Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx and provide support to 1,800 individuals and families daily across the life span including Pre-School and school-age Special Education; Head Start and Day Care; Small Supervised Residences; Day Habilitation; Young adult programs; and Family Support programs.

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Meredith Beck

Meredith Beck
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