June 8, 2009 was another landmark night as our 3rd Annual Benefit Gala was a smashing success. Returning to Tribeca Rooftop, we honored Joe Moglia, Chairman of TD Ameritrade, and beloved British actress Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada, Sunshine Cleaning, The Young Victoria) with the Freeing Voices, Changing Lives Award. The evening was hosted by our good friend Sam Waterston (Law and Order). Susan Glessner and Seth H. Waugh, CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas, served as Co-Chairs for the gala.
Special guest Barbara Walters talked about how her late sister Jackie, a stutterer, was the inspiration behind her memoir Audition. She stated, “Today, with this organization, my sister would have had a very, very different life.”
Both Joe and Emily gave inspiring speeches about how they dealt with their stuttering and achieved success in their life goals. Joe was engaging and motivating as would befit the former football coach. Emily was elegant and uplifting as you would expect from the award-winning actress. We are thankful for their support and friendship.
Like last year, our clients stole the show. Jodriann, Joe, Kieran, and Derek Wood touched our crowd as they each talked about their struggles with stuttering and what their time with AIS has done for them. Kieran’s mom Laureen shared her thoughts on Kieran’s experiences here as well.
We were honored to have blues guitar prodigy “Mojo” Myles Mancuso and his band provide the evening’s entertainment. Only 14 years old, Myles is a rising star in the blues world and a fellow “stutter-buddy.”
Our blog features pictures and video from the unforgettable night. It will surely stand as our best ever gala. At least until next year.