Jarrod Kahn, Paula Zahn and Nancy Poses at NCLD's 39th Annual Benefit on March 9, 2016.

NCLD’s 39th Annual Benefit Dinner

Written by Julia Heitner | March 18, 2016

On March 9, 2016, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) held its 39thAnnual Benefit Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City. Over $2.4 million was raised in support of 1 in 5 people  in the U.S. with learning and attention issues, over 60 million Americans. The evening was emceed by the award-winning journalist Paula Zahn, chaired by Nancy Poses and special remarks on NCLD’s accomplishments were given by NCLD’s Executive Director, James H. Wendorf.

Jarrod Kahn, President of Accessories and Home, Global Brands Group was honored with the Distinguished Leadership Award, which was presented to him by his father, Steve Kahn. Mr. Kahn is a champion of NCLD’s work and a highly active member of the Board of Directors. In his work with Global Brands Group he oversees license agreements with well-renowned fashion brands including Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Guess, Cole Haan, Vince Camuto and Nine West.

Daymond John and his mother Margot John were presented with the Distinguished Advocate Award for their ongoing advocacy for individuals with learning disabilities. Mr. John is the CEO and founder of FUBU, an entrepreneur, best-selling author and star of ABC’s Shark Tank. He is also a member of Understood’s Board of Advocates and is outspoken about his own experience living with dyslexia and support for others. The award was presented to Daymond and Margot by Max Ash, an 11-year-old inventor with dyslexia who created, The Mug With A Hoop!™.

NCLD also honored two extraordinary high school seniors with learning disabilities with the Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas scholarships named for NCLD’s Chairman Emerita Anne Ford and daughter Allegra Ford Thomas. The awards were presented by Page Ive, the 2010 Anne Ford Scholar, who graduated from Stanford University in 2015 with dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees and currently works in researching the promising technology of self-driving cars. Elijah Ditchendorf received the Anne Ford Scholarship and plans to study nanotechology and biomedical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Jocelyn Hanrath received the Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarship. She is an Olympics-track soccer goalie and will study Sports Management at Highline Community College in pursuit of her career goal to become a top-tier soccer coach.

Additional highlights for the evening included a presentation on Understood.org by Kevin Hager, NCLD’s Vice President and Chief Digital Officer and Managing Director of Understood and Priscilla Rodriguez, Vice President of the Poses Family Foundation. Understood.org, a comprehensive free online resource to support parents of kids with learning and attention issues created by 15 nonprofit partners and managed and operated by NCLD. Since its launch in fall 2014, Understood has received over 11.5 million users and received the 2015 Webby Award for best Family/Parenting site. Guest presenter, Noah Coates, shared his experience on participating on Roadtrip Nation’s “Being You,” which will premiere on local PBS stations nationwide this May.

The event was attended by over 450 guests, the largest fundraising event in the field. The proceeds will go towards NCLD’s programs to support the 1 in 5 individuals nationwide with learning and attention issues by empowering parents, improving public K-12 education, supporting young adults in their transitions from high school to college or career and enabling adults to thrive.

View our gallery of photos from the evening:

Programs: