The 13th Annual AIS Gala was our largest and most impactful yet. Actor and AIS Board Member, Emily Blunt, served as Emcee for the evening, and she helped to celebrate AIS and our Honoree, Nolan Russo. Special thanks to our Gala Co-Chairs this year, Arthur Blank, Jack Welch, and Amgen.
Eric Dinallo, chairman of the AIS BOD, took time to thank and celebrate Emily Blunt, thanking her for visiting our offices to meet with our clients, and going as far saying he could see her presenting about stuttering to congress someday.
Emily Blunt presented the Freeing Voices, Changing Lives Award to Nolan Russo, our 2019 Honoree.
Arthur Blank (Owner, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United) and Don Saladino (fitness training expert) joined Emily on stage for a “fireside chat.” They answered questions about how stuttering shaped them and what they might like to tell their younger selves now.
After dinner Carl Herder (Atlanta Clinic Director) provided basic facts on stuttering, and introduced our client speakers.
Benjamin, age 16, explained how his therapy at AIS has led him to redefine stuttering, and he solidified this for our audience by giving five reasons why “stuttering is the best thing that ever happened” to him.
Taylor shared how the “iceberg of stuttering” helped her understand her stuttering better, and how different stages of change have helped her count her successes. Taylor thanked her therapist, Chaya, for giving her the confidence she never thought she’d have as a person who stutters.
Our final client speaker, Lambros, kept the audience engaged and entertained as he expressed his appreciation AIS therapy. He shared that his opinion about stuttering has changed, and while he used to feel very afraid of stuttering, he is now learning to say what he wants to say.