2nd Annual “Celebrating Families: Mothers Day Brunch”


A Day to celebrate families with fun, food and kid activities!

The Advocates of the Year award will be presented to Debbie and Larry Hilibrand. The Hilibrands are strong supporters of autism research and community services through the Hilibrand Foundation. Debbie is an Honorary Life Member of the board of the JCC of Mid-Westchester, is active on the UJA Federation’s Autism Committee, chairs the Associates Committee of the Yale Child Study Center, and serves on the board of Abilis in Greenwich, which recently launched a new program called L.I.F.E (Life Skills, Independence, Friends, Employ- ment) focused on developing transitional skills for young adults with autism. Debbie is a former board member at the National Alliance for Autism Research. She launched the Westchester/Fairfield chapter of NAAR (now Autism Speaks) and established the region’s annual walk for autism research which raises nearly $1 million annually. The Hilibrand Foundation was also a leading donor to the Autism Genome Project. Debbie and Larry are the parents of two children David, 22 and Jennifer, 17. David attends the L.I.F.E program.

The Teacher of the Year Award will be presented to Martin Stone, Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) Director at the JCC of Mid-Westchester. “Mr. Marty” as the children have proudly nicknamed him has worked with teachers and children in many nursery schools throughout Westchester. During the summer he coordinates our Camp Gadol inclusion program. Mr. Stone has greatly influenced special education as an administrator, an advocate for families, a teacher and a strong proponent for inclusion in education.

The Caryn Schwartzman Spirit Award is presented annually to the parent advocate whose energy, tenacity, and commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism best emulates Caryn. Caryn was a loving and dedicated mom, and a tireless advocate who worked with the National Alliance for Autism Research, Autism Speaks and the Autism Science Foundation to support autism research and improve the lives of children around the country. The award is presented in her memory by her daughter Alison, her son Robbie, and her husband Marty. This year’s award goes to Pat Schissel, president of the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Associa- tion, Inc. (AHA), a support and education advocacy group for parents and professionals, with members across the state, country and world. Ms. Schissel is the parent of two; one an adult on the autism spectrum who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in his 20’s and the other an attorney who works in public interest law.

Inquiries please contact:
Julie Martin