Jan Dilenschneider Honored at Center for HOPE Luncheon
At its annual Center for HOPE Luncheon at Wee Burn Beach Club on Wednesday, May 8, Family Centers celebrated the philanthropic contributions of longtime Board member Jan Dilenschneider by presenting her with the 2019 Ray of HOPE Award.
The Ray of HOPE is the Center for HOPE’s highest honor, and recognizes individuals or groups whose efforts assist those coping with a loss, critical illness or life-altering circumstance. Past recipients include author and healthcare advocate Elizabeth Edwards; world class triathlete and cancer survivor Karen Newman, recording artists The Alternate Routes, as well as several Family Centers volunteers and supporters.
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“For over two decades we have called on Jan to step up on behalf of Family Centers and Center for HOPE,” said Family Centers’ CEO Bob Arnold. “Jan has always been an outstanding guardian and cheerleader for the Center for HOPE and all that it stands for in the community.”
From 2004-2008, Dilenschneider served as Family Centers’ Board Chairman and was a driving force behind the agency’s merger with the Center for HOPE in 2005. She also guided the agency through its union with HealthCare Connection in 2008 – making Family Centers’ a bona fide provider of community health services.
Dilenschneider has co-chaired numerous fundraisers, including Family Centers’ 2000 Circus benefit, several Center for HOPE Annual Luncheon events, two intimate leadership breakfasts with New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and a Hearts of Hope dinner event featuring renowned physician Dr. Mehmet Oz. Dilenschneider also helped create Family Centers’ popular Titans speaker series that has hosted luminaries like former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Home Depot Co-Founder Ken Langone and financial news analyst Maria Bartiromo.
The luncheon also featured a moving keynote address from author Mary Cregan, who detailed her personal struggle with depression and mental illness. Cregan referred to passages in her new book, The Scar: A Personal History of Depression and Recovery, to illustrate how she overcame mental illness and rebuilt her life from the ground up.
Co-chaired by Darien residents Anne Goodnow and Joy Hoffman, the Center for HOPE Luncheon raised important funds to support the Center for HOPE and The Den for Grieving Kids – Family Centers’ programs offering counseling and support to residents of lower Fairfield County coping with a loss, a critical illness or life-altering circumstance.
Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 200 professionals and 4,000 trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs. A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and is accredited by The Joint Commission and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The agency is licensed by the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. Visit www.familycenters.org for additional information.