Mental Health Society Holds 2016 Gala

Posted by Tom Crimmins Realty on Sunday, March 20th, 2016 at 12:48pm.

Victoria Droumbakis is gala Chairperson for the Staten Island Mental Health Society (SIMHS). This Friday, March 18th, the Mental Health Society held a gala at Above to honor Melissa Rabinovich and Fern Aaron Zagor.


By: Carol Ann Benanti | 

The Staten Island Mental Health Society's 2016 Gala attracted an enthusiastic crowd Friday in the Above Ballroom at the Hilton Garden Inn, which abounded with elaborate raffle prizes and dancing galore.

Entertainment at the Bloomfield venue was provided by members of the SIMHS Children's Theatre Association Performing Arts Company, led by award-winning artistic director Rosemarie Callahan, with DJ entertainment by Sound Explosion.

Honored during the evening were NY1 News executive editor Melissa Rabinovich, presented with the Community Service Award; and Fern Aaron Zagor, SIMHS president and CEO, recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award.

"Under Ms. Rabinovich's direction, New York 1 News has kept the public informed about the society's important programs and has shone a light on the activities of our hardworking volunteers," said SIMHS Board of Directors Chair John Tapinis. "She has truly done the community a service by making sure that the value and availability of our services are publicized."

In accepting the award, Rabinovich noted: "Bringing awareness to such a great non-profit has been very gratifying. And it's such an honor to be recognized for their great work."

Zagor has been at the helm of the society through several years of sweeping changes in the way mental health services are delivered and financed, Tapinis noted.

"Her strong and fearless leadership has kept the society in the forefront of this shift, while maintaining our status as the Island's go-to agency for children's mental health/behavioral health services," he said. 

In speaking of the evening, Zagor stated: "I am so thrilled to be honored by the Staten Island Mental Health Society. But it's really not about me. It's about the children we serve, and the Board of Directors and volunteers who are here providing caring, passionate volunteer services every day."

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