Denville, NJ- Celebrate the Children School, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the development of children and young adults with autism and special needs, is proud to honor distinguished individuals whose contributions to the school and to the autism community warrant recognition: Elizabeth B. Torres, Ph.D., Director of the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence; Andre Chabanel, Board President of Celebrate the Children; and Karen Austin and the Garden State H.O.G. Chapter. The awards, which recognize individuals for their passion, support, and dedication to the autism community, will be presented at Celebrate the Children’s upcoming event, Let’s Play Gala, at the Rockaway River Country Club in Denville, NJ on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Dr. Elizabeth Torres is a Computational Neuroscientist who has been working on theoretical and empirical aspects of sensory-motor integration and human cognition since the late ’90s. She joined the Rutgers Psychology faculty, the Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science and the Center for Computational Biomedicine Imaging and Modelling of the Computer Science Department in 2008. There she initiated the path of interdisciplinary collaboration and attained tenure. Since 2009, her lab has brought Rutgers over 8 million research dollars from Federal, State, and Private funds and multiple patents in the areas of digital biomarkers with applications to personalized mobile-smart health. She has written two books on autism and biometrics and currently serves as the Principal Investigator and Director of the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence leading major initiatives to help transform autism medical research and treatments across the state.
Andre Chabanel is a CPA by training and a partner at RSM. He has over 25 years of finance and accounting experience with public and private companies, specializing in the transportation and logistics industry sectors, and joined RSM as part of a strategic plan to grow the firm’s presence in the New Jersey market. As a truly dedicated volunteer, Andre has been one of Celebrate the Children’s Board Members for the past eight years and currently serves as the Board President. He also volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and is the Scoutmaster of a Troop in Randolph. Andre once wanted to be a chef and loves cooking in his spare time, particularly with Les Marmitons - an international culinary society, where he serves as Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter.
Always supportive of Celebrate the Children’s students and programs, Karen Austin and the Garden State H.O.G. Chapter #3373 Members share a passion for riding and raising funds for charitable causes. The Garden State H.O.G. Chapter’s level of passion and dedication to the community is truly an inspiration, and Celebrate the Children is proud to honor them with The Simon Alexander Award.
The Simon Alexander Award was established in 2012 by one of CTC’s first students, Simon Alexander, who graduated from the program. Simon is a very generous, very thoughtful young man who is dedicated to the community, giving back, and educating others. Simon created “The Simon Fund” with the help of family and friends as a way of giving back to his Alma Mater, Celebrate the Children School. His focus is to help students as they prepare for adult life.
At our Gala, The Simon Alexander Award is given to one person or organization that shares a similar vision to make a meaningful and impactful change against societal challenges and make an immense difference in people’s lives.
The gala raises critical funds and awareness about learning differences while recognizing students’ abilities to live healthy, happy, secure, creative, and meaningful lives.
The gala is open to the public and starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets range from $150 to $500; sponsorships range from $500 to $25,000; and a tricky tray, casino-style gambling, a live and silent auction will be held. Digital journals and congratulatory ad opportunities are also available. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available online now. All proceeds benefit Celebrate the Children School and will help us expand programs and improve amenities that help our students reach their fullest potential, and give them the confidence to become more successful, independent, and fulfilled in their lives.
For more information, visit www.celebratethechildren.org, www.letsplaygala.org or contact Jenna Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kristin Polster at email@example.com.
Contributions to this blog are made by Celebrate the Children's highly talented, interdisciplinary team and wonderful families.