The 28th Annual Lifesavers Gala

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The 28th Annual Lifesavers Gala, held in New York City at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room, was a night to remember, with distinguished guests sharing inspiring and informative stories about how suicide has affected them, and their valiant and passionate efforts to fight it.

Hosted by Kate Snow, anchor for MSNBC and Nightly News Sunday, and National Correspondent for NBC News, the Gala raised more than $400,000 for the fight against suicide. These funds will go to toward AFSP’s leading initiatives in the areas of research, education, advocacy and support for those affected by suicide.

Chaired by Husseini Manji, M.D. Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience, of Janssen Research & Development, L.L.C., the Lifesavers Gala honored four people who have dedicated their lives to suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

The evening’s program also included remarks from honorees: Public Service Award winner Barbara Van Dahlen, the president of Give an Hour™, which enlists mental health professionals to provide free services to U.S. troops, veterans, their loved ones, and their communities (award presented by retired Major General Mark Graham); Survivor Award winner Senator Creigh Deeds, for his tireless advocacy in the state of Virginia; Public Education Award winner Sue Klebold, mother of Columbine shooter Dylan Klebold, for her passionate advocacy of mental health awareness; and Research Award winner Alan Apter, M.D., one of Israel’s leading child psychiatry researchers and the author of many pioneering papers on youth and military suicide.

The Gala concluded with a rousing speech from AFSP CEO Robert Gebbia, who spoke of our goal to reduce the annual suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025. Weaving in the lyrics of John Lennon’s iconic song Imagine, he addressed the challenge of winning the fight against suicide: “You may say we are dreamers / But we’re not the only ones.” As more and more people raise their voices and unite, we will achieve our mission.

View more photos of the event on our Flickr.

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