Junior Committee Update
By Marielle Mindlin Bernstein
Former Junior Committee President
The Junior Committee’s mission is to grow a network of young professionals who support and engage each other and the larger Alzheimer’s community, advocate for legislation, and raise funds to finance research and programs. We make an impact by volunteering directly with the community and advocating for legislation. However, we know that funds are what is needed to treat and cure this disease. That is why fundraising is an an important aspect of the Junior Committee that we take very seriously.
In fiscal year 2015, the Junior Committee raised $135,000 from various events. In August we held our annual allocation meeting, where CaringKind staff members presented proposals of programs and services that we could fund with the money we raised. We sincerely thank Lou-Ellen Barkan, Jed A. Levine and the entire staff for giving us this opportunity. Committee members appreciate the opportunity to choose how to distribute the funds they've raised, and then to see their impact in the community.
After the presentations, Junior Committee members asked questions and discussed our options. The final vote was to fund:
- $10,000 for Wanderer’s Safety Program grants
- $20,000 for one Dementia Care Training for Professional Caregivers
- $5,000 for the Support Group Leader Breakfast
- $3,500 for the Medical and Healthcare Professional Outreach Program
- $10,000 for Advocacy and Public Policy Activities
- $3,500 for the African American Outreach Program ESMA Physicians Dinner
Our fundraising efforts will not end until a cure is found and programs and services are no longer needed. That is why on October 2, the Junior Committee hosted our annual gala. This year’s gala took on an Old Hollywood theme and was an evening of glitz and glamour at the Broad Street Ballroom. Our sponsors Remy Martin and People’s United Bank, along with our ticket sales, donations, and silent auction, helped us to raise a record-breaking $80,000! Guests were treated to fully stocked bars with alcohol donated by Remy Martin, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Bonnie Rose Whiskey, Hendrick’s Gin, Barefoot Wine, Piper Sonoma Champagne, Lagunitas Beer, and Tequila Avión. The night ended with delicious desserts donated by Ovenly, Fattycakes, Sweetly Brooklyn, and the Flour Pot, as well as gourmet popcorn donated by Butter and Scotch.
We know it is our generation's responsibility to change the trajectory of this disease, so we wanted to recognize someone who is doing just that. We presented the Junior Committee’s Science Advisor, Dr. Andrew Teich, with an Outstanding Achievement Award for devoting his career to Alzheimer’s research. Dr. Teich runs a laboratory at Columbia University, where his research has identified a possible therapeutic target that appears to be important for treating the disease.
A special thank you to our gala chair Lea Marra, the gala steering committee, and the CaringKind staff for their endless hours of effort putting this event together. We hope that you will all join us at our 2016 gala, as well as other Junior Committee events throughout the year!
A message from Laurel Crosby:
"When I first attended a Junior Committee meeting in January 2013, I realized there was something powerful happening at the CaringKind office. This group of young professionals was volunteering their time, ideas, and fundraising efforts as a united front against Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, while also creating a positive space for those whose family members had the disease. As I watched my mother battle early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, the JC was one of the few spaces where I no longer felt so alone in the caregiving experience. Two years, two Walks, and a position on the 2015 gala steering committee later, I’m honored to lead the JC as its president. 2016 brings us a new brand, and a new opportunity to leverage the incredible success Marielle Mindlin Bernstein set in place. This year, we aim to expand and diversify engagement opportunities for all members; to equip each member with Alzheimer’s knowledge and the critical work of CaringKind, and to cultivate the next generation of engaged philanthropists to create a compassionate world for those with Alzheimer’s, while advancing us toward a world without Alzheimer’s."