Tuesday’s gala was a joy––and a great success. A sell-out crowd of over 350 people filled the ballroom of Mandarin Oriental, featuring an unbeatable view of Central Park, raising nearly $1 million and counting to support the young people in JCCA’s care. The warmth and camaraderie of the JCCA community were palpable all night.  

JCCA CEO Ron Richter kicked off the program, highlighting the pivotal moment that the organization finds itself in. A moment of urgency, crisis, but also great possibility. “From pioneering programs like New York City’s first Youth ACT team, which helps keep children in crisis in the community and out of hospitals, to major investments like our Campus Renewal campaign, we are redefining what it means to provide a comprehensive continuum of care,” Richter remarked. 

Attendees were treated to the premiere of a video that, despite its brief length, managed to convey a sense of both JCCA’s history and its diverse programming in the present day. 

 A true highlight of the night were the remarks by a mother-daughter client duo who shared, through both laughter and tears, how JCCA therapists partnered with them to work through challenges and repair their bond. “I wanted to laugh and play and connect with my child again,” said Rhonda Williams. “I just didn’t know how to get there from where we were.” 

Trustees Wendy Kleinman and Stephanie Spiegel spoke powerfully to JCCA’s commitment to delivering life-changing care in this time of elevated need, and asked attendees to join in that mission. They also pitched JCCA’s ambitious Campus Renewal campaign, slated to break ground next year. 

Welcomed by a room full of family and friends, the evening’s Honoree, Trustee Bryce Markus, recounted the path that led him to such a deep and sustained engagement with JCCA. “When my wife and I first walked onto JCCA’s Pleasantville campus, we found a passionate staff and a committed volunteer community who shared a holistic view of a child’s needs,” he recalled. “We also met wonderful young people working to overcome serious challenges and reclaim their futures.” 

After receiving a standing ovation, Bryce was surprised with the announcement of the inaugural Bryce Markus Education Award––a scholarship given to JCCA client of extraordinary promise. This year’s recipient, Tiana Marley, took the stage to speak about the journey that began as a 12-year-old arriving on JCCA’s residential campus and now sees her set to graduate college as an applied chemistry major and proud parent. 

After the program, the crowd lingered over dessert, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Thank you everyone who had a hand in making this year’s gala truly special. And stay tuned for an announcement about our next event—coming this fall!