Archive for May 2011
On May 2 at the Trump Plaza Hotel, club member Gail Dunlap Reuben of Convent Station and Dr. Laura McKirdy of Mendham, cofounders of The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Mountain Lakes were awarded the 2011 New Jersey Women of Achievement Award by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC. The award celebrates the significant accomplishments of distinguished women in New Jersey who have demonstrated a strong commitment in leadership, humanitarianism, philanthropy, communy service, the arts, and to professional commitment. Distinguished past honorees include former Governor Christine Todd Whitman, Althea Gibson, Millicent Fenwick and Mary Higgins Clark.
On May 3, the cofounders were also honored at Ramapo College with The Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference which recognizes unsung heroes who have made a significant difference to the well-being of society. Reuben and McKirdy were among eleven finalists selected from more than 200 nominees by The Russell Berrie Foundation’s advisory board of distinguished New Jerseys business leaders and professionals. The Honorable Cory Booker was the event’s keynote speaker, sharing personal stories of how unsung heroes impacted his life enabling him to have the opportunities to become the person he is today. Angelica Berrie presented the awards, founded 15 years ago by her husband. Reuben and McKirdy received $5,000, which they donated to The Lake Drive Foundation for The Sound Start Early Intervention Program.
The Lake Drive Foundation is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit established by community leaders in 1996 as the fund development arm of The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Lake Drive offers New Jersey’s most comprehensive continuum of educational opportunities for children with hearing loss from birth to high school graduation. Lake Drive’s Ivy Nursery and Sound Start Early Intervention Program are the major programs supported by the Foundation.
Ivy Nursery and Sound Start provide therapy and educational services to sixty infants and toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing from throughout northern and central New Jersey each year. Despite research demonstrating the importance and cost efficiency of early intervention for children with hearing loss, New Jersey state funding covers barely one third of the cost of these life changing programs. For more information about The Lake Drive Foundation visit www.lakedrivefoundation.org.