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National Disabilities Employment Awareness Champion Award

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, in partnership with The Corporate Source, a Garden City-based nonprofit that creates employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, honored James Denson, a paralegal with disabilities who helps disabled clients with their Social Security benefit appeals, with the 2nd Annual National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Champion Award.  Recognizing the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce, The Corporate Source invited prominent Long Island businesses to nominate an employee with a disability who they believed should be chosen as a NDEAM Champion among Long Island employers.

Denson, a Hempstead resident, who has cerebral palsy and overcame stuttering, was nominated for the distinction by Jeffrey Seigel, executive director of Nassau Suffolk Law Services, where Denson has worked for 27 years.  Seigel praised his devotion to the work he does with clients, some of whom have psychiatric impairments.

Judges selected Denson from a pool of 10 applicants as a testament to his accomplishments, tenure and tenacity. For more information click here

“The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation supports the work of the work of The Corporate Source for providing dignity through employment opportunities to those who might otherwise be marginalized for a disability,” said foundation President Peter J. Klein.

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“The Claire Award” College Scholarships Presented to YMCA Camp Counselors

Foundation President Peter J. Klein recently presented “The Claire Award,”  $2,500 in college scholarships, to three Huntington YMCA camp counselors—Dan Miele, Shea Naughton and Mackenzie Maloney in recognition of their outstanding leadership qualities.  “The Claire Award” recognizes Long Islanders who have exemplified Claire Friedlander’s legacy of doing good deeds for others, showing kindness to all, and instilling hope in the midst of difficulty. “The foundation proudly partners with the YMCA on programming that focuses on mentorship and leadership skills to shape the leaders of tomorrow,” said Klein.  “It’s our pleasure to see them go off to higher education with this recognition and extra funding.”

“These outstanding young leaders continue embody Claire’s legacy by showering others with overwhelming compassion and putting the needs of campers before their own,” said Eileen Knauer, Chief Operating Officer at the YMCA of Long Island. “We cannot think of any three individuals more deserving for this award.”

The three counselors were chosen out of 106 personnel who were nominated by a review committee made up of YMCA leadership staff. Each nominee was judged on their efforts to go “above and beyond the call of duty” as camp counselors and for the transformational experience they create for fellow staff and campers alike.

The award ceremony was held at the Huntington YMCA in Huntington, N.Y. on Thursday, August 16, 2018, prior to the start of college. For more information click here.

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Exciting Progress at Cold Spring Harbor Lab Genome Center

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation’s donation of $200,000 for a new Illumina NextSeq 500 at Cold Spring Harbor Lab’s Genome Center has helped advance many exciting research projects in recent months. Technological advances have made genomic approaches critical for understanding basic biological processes so that genomic research now impacts all areas of life science research.  One of the most widely used shared facilities is the CSHL Genome Center, home to the latest in both short and long read sequencing technology.  Some of the projects made possible are:

Data Fusion to Discover subtypes of Bipolar Neurons in the Retina and to Characterize Similarities between Human and Mouse Midbrain Development:  This collaborative project between CSHL labs led by CSHL Professors Jessie Gillis and Josh Huang aims to quantify the degree to which cell types replicate across datasets to enable rapid identification of clusters of high similarity.

Evaluating Racial Differences in Gastrointestinal Cancer Biology:  A collaboration between CSHL’s Richard McCombie, Stony Brook University’s Ellen Li and SUNY Downstate’s Laura Martello-Rooney is accessing clinical samples from disparate populations from both Stony Brook and Downstate to reveal genetic markers to pinpoint which individuals will develop colon cancer and, how they will respond to conventional and/or novel treatments.

Defining Changes in Gene Regulation in Pancreatic Cancer: This is a collaboration between CSHL’s Cancer Institute Director, David Tuveson and Dr. Gerardo MacKenzie’s lab at Stony Brook.  It uses the Tuveson lab’s innovative organoids (hollow spheres of cells cultured from tumors) testing system to quickly and accurately predict how patients with pancreatic cancer will respond to a variety of treatments.

Gene Regulatory Mechanisms Underlying Sex Differences in Brain Development and Psychiatric Disease:  Many psychiatric conditions display a sex bias in incidence, onset, or symptoms.  The underlying reasons for these sex differences are still obscure so CSHL’s Professor Jessica Tollkuhn is focused on discovering which mechanisms of gene regulation in sex‐specific processes may contribute to sexual dimorphisms in mental illness, particularly in Autism.

Discovery of a Peptide that shrinks mouse models of Leukemia by 80% Breast and Colon Cancers: Graduate student Yali Xu in Professor Chris Vakoc’s lab at CSHL screened thousands of leukemia and normal blood cells using the NextSeq 500 and discovered a way to attack a high-profile cancer target which is involved in numerous life functions (without it, organisms couldn’t survive).  They found that they could use a small peptide decoy to trick the target into believing it had attached to the Peptide when, in reality, it hit the equivalent of a molecular dead end.

Peter J. Klein, President, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, reflects on funding this project in 2016  when he and his wife Irene, Vice-President of the Foundation, first attended an event at the Lab, they knew “it was a special place with highly engaged, brilliant folks doing impassioned work,” and they wanted to help.  “Seeing the scientific progress this gene sequencer has made possible is thrilling.  The Foundation is pleased to support the life-changing research at CSHL.”

Click here for more information.

 

 

 

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Cinema Arts Centre Wins Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts & Culture Award

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation was pleased to present the Arts & Culture Award to the Cinema Arts Centre of Huntington at the 6th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards held Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at the Crest Hollow Country Club, Woodbury, NY. This gala event was created to offer formal acknowledgement to some of Long Island’s most effective, innovative, and impactful nonprofit organizations.  Nearly 180 nonprofit applications were submitted for a chance to win $5,000 grants in five different categories: Innovation, Leadership Excellence, Rising Star, Social Impact, Arts and Culture, and an additional $2,500 Fan Favorite award. Of this pool of worthy applicants, 20 were selected as finalists and one in each category was awarded the grant LIVE at the awards ceremony on May 1, 2018. News 12 Anchor Doug Geed served as MC. The winners are:

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Arts and Culture Award – Cinema Arts Centre

Cerini & Associates Social Impact Award – The Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN)

The Certilman Balin Leadership Excellence Award – Sister Patricia Griffith, Mercy Haven

 Empire National Bank Innovation Award – Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation (LIAF)

 Rising Star Award – Girls Inc. of Long Island

Nerds That Care Fan Favorite Award – Patient AirLift Services (PALS)

(L-R) Hillary Needle, President, Hillary Needle Events, representing The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, presenting the Arts & Culture Award to the Cinema Arts Center Co-Directors Charlotte Sky & Dylan Skolnick, Imagine Awards Founder Ken Cerini, Cerini & Associates.

(L-R) Hillary Needle, President, Hillary Needle Events, representing The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, presenting the Arts & Culture Award to the Cinema Arts Center Co-Directors Charlotte Sky & Dylan Skolnick, Imagine Awards Founder Ken Cerini, Cerini & Associates.

 

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Friedlander Upstander Award Winners Announced

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation and The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) annually honor middle school, high school and college students on Long Island who confront intolerance, prejudice or other forms of social injustice. The Friedlander Upstander Award, presented by HMTC and the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, in conjunction with the Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments, is awarded to Nassau and Suffolk middle and high school students who have acted as Upstanders against bullying or intolerance in any of its forms. This year over 80 applications were received from high school and middle school students from across Long Island. The recipients of the 2018 Friedlander Upstander Awards are:

Edgar Josue Rivas Lizama, is an 11th grader at Huntington High school. Edgar is a dedicated advocate for Immigrant rights, both in school and through non-profit work. As an immigrant himself, he feels deeply committed to dispelling stereotypes about immigrants and advocating for equal rights. He is an active volunteer with the Long Island Immigrant Student Advocates and is also heavily involved with the ESL program at his high school.

Sydney Brett is an 11th grader at Long Beach High School. She is a staunch advocate for students with learning disabilities. After experiencing bullying in the classroom, Sydney founded her own non-profit, Sydney’s Smiles, which “aims to equip kids with the tools they need to end bullying in their immediate environment.”

Michael Scalisi (runner-up) is a 12th grader at Wellington C. Mepham High School in Merrick. As a young student, Michael found himself in the midst of an islamophobic situation involving a high school friend. He decided in that moment to not only comfort his friend but also to defend her from the stereotypical and racist taunts being made against her. He demonstrated the core elements of being an Upstander through his immediate response to intolerance.

Bryn Schlussler (runner-up) is a 12th grader at Bay Shore High School. She is a dedicated advocate for students with special needs. Bryn created the inaugural Bay Shore Chapter of Best Buddies International, of which she is president. The international organization, Best Buddies works with special needs students and neurotypical students to encourage the break-down of stereotyping and alienation and to encourage friendships.

Lina Tornese is an 8th grader at Oldfield Middle School in Greenlawn. She always had an aversion to labels within her school- particularly those that singled out her peers who didn’t “fit in”. This aversion came to the fore when Lina noticed one of her classmates, a young man with Cerebral Palsy, was being isolated by his fellow classmates. She decided to befriend the young man and now has created a program with the assistance of the school administration to ensure that no child eats lunch alone.

Sage Gladstone is an 8th grader at South Woods Middle School in Syosset. She has always been an advocate for those in need. While in Middle School, Sage had the opportunity to watch a video about the non-profit, Days for Girls which donates female sanitary products to young women in need. She has become the youngest volunteer for the organization and has organized multiple drives for Days of Girls at her school.

For more information, call (516) 571-8040, visit HMTC’s website, www.hmtcli.org, or find us on social media at Facebook.com/HMTCNY and Twitter.com/HolocaustTolCtr.

At the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County’s recent Tolerance Benefit, Long Island Students were awarded the Friedlander Upstander Award for acting as an Upstander against bullying or intolerance. Pictured are (Top Row L to R:) SCPD Chaplain Michael Homan; NCPD Inspector Michael Studdert; Steven Markowitz, Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center; Helen Turner, Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County Director of Youth Education; Michael Scalisi, Friedlander Award recipient (Honorable Mention); Edgar Lizama, Friedlander Award recipient; Peter J. Klein, President, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation (Bottom Row L to R) Sydney Brett, Friedlander Award recipient; Lina Tornese, Friedlander Award recipient; Sage Gladstone, Friedlander Award recipient; and Bryn Schlussler, Friedlander Award recipient (Honorable Mention).

At the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County’s recent Tolerance Benefit, Long Island Students were awarded the Friedlander Upstander Award for acting as an Upstander against bullying or intolerance. Pictured are (Top Row L to R:) SCPD Chaplain Michael Homan; NCPD Inspector Michael Studdert; Steven Markowitz, Chairman of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center; Helen Turner, Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County Director of Youth Education; Michael Scalisi, Friedlander Award recipient (Honorable Mention); Edgar Lizama, Friedlander Award recipient; Peter J. Klein, President, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation (Bottom Row L to R) Sydney Brett, Friedlander Award recipient; Lina Tornese, Friedlander Award recipient; Sage Gladstone, Friedlander Award recipient; and Bryn Schlussler, Friedlander Award recipient (Honorable Mention).

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Anti-Bullying Essay Contest Open to Teens

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation in collaboration with Life’s WORC/Family Center for Autism invites Long Island high school students to enter an essay contest that aims to combat bullying against people with developmental disabilities. Students in grades 9 to 12 enrolled in public or private schools in Nassau or Suffolk counties as well as Queens are eligible to compete for the $4,000 first-place prize, $3,000 second-place award or $2,000 third-place winner. The essays must address the question: “Why autistic and developmentally disabled people become targets of bullies, and how can my school and community prevent it?”

“I hope that this essay question will motivate more critical thinking, constructive ideas, and perhaps, solutions,” said Peter J. Klein, President of The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation. “Sadly, bullying and acts of thoughtless, irresponsible conduct targeting developmentally disabled and autistic people is at a point of crisis,” Klein said. “How can schools and communities help to bring about new social improvements and bring an end to this form of prejudice and intolerance?”

The essays must be 400-500 words, submitted by the U.S. Postal Service, Fed Ex, or United Parcel Service postmarked by no later than May 3, 2018. Contact Tina Moreno at 516-741-9000 or Danny Frank at 212-279-1041 for details. Awards will be made at a presentation event at The Family Center For Autism by no later than June 1, 2018.

The  late Claire Friedlander, established the foundation to foster tolerance as she was a Holocaust survivor who immigrated from Nazi Germany to the United States. Life’s WORC was founded by Victoria Schneps-Yunis, co-publisher of the Long Island Press, which is also sponsoring the event along with the Queens Courier. In addition to Klein, judges for this contest include Northville Industries Corp. CEO Dr. Gene Bernstein, Life’s WORC Executive Director Janet Koch and Kelly McMasters, Asst. Professor of English and Publishing Studies Director at Hofstra University.

 

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The Human Trial Type I Diabetes

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation recognized the significance of filmmakers Lisa Hepner and Guy Mossman’s vision to document the scientific research via stem cell therapy to cure type 1 diabetes and proudly supported production of The Human Trial, a feature-length documentary with unprecedented, real-time access to one of America’s top labs — ViaCyte in San Diego. This groundbreaking film follows the team’s triumphs and failures in the lab as they attempt to make medical history at a landmark clinical trial in 2018.

“The CFF grant has helped us to document every step of this remarkable journey in medical science. Specifically, we have used the grant to film the patients in Cohort 2 of ViaCyte’s Pec-Direct trial—where they receive the therapeutic dose of islet cells,” said Hepner. “We have been waiting four years to film with patients, and we always thought that they would become the emotional heart of the film. And they are.”  Hepner continues “their stories of living with T1D are heart-wrenching, and their participation in the clinical trial dramatic. Through the three patients we experience first-hand the terrible physical, emotional and financial costs of the disease while they ride the trial’s hope/despair rollercoaster.”

More than 90 years after the discovery of insulin, ViaCyte has received FDA approval to launch the first ever-human trial of a stem-cell derived treatment that might cure type 1 diabetes. ViaCyte’s trial is only the third ever in the US, and the sixth ever in the world to use embryonic stem cell therapy to cure a disease.  Hepner, a type 1 diabetic for 26 years, collaborated with her husband cinematographer, Guy Mossman, to produce a film capturing how science, commerce and politics intersect and to show that science is anything but sterile.

Peter J. Klein, President, The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, said “the foundation supported The Human Trial to help shine a light on the serious reality of living with diabetes and how scientific breakthroughs are not only possible but probable.”

For more information on The Human Trial visit www.thehumantrial.com

•The Human Trial Production Still (10.14.2017) Directors Lisa Hepner and Guy Mossman at ViaCyte Innovation Alley

• The Human Trial Production Still (10.14.2017) Directors Lisa Hepner and Guy Mossman at ViaCyte Innovation Alley

 

•The Human Trial Production Still (06.22.2016) Director Lisa Hepner interviews Paul Laikind, CEO of ViaCyte at Headquarters in La Jolla

• The Human Trial Production Still (06.22.2016) Director Lisa Hepner interviews Paul Laikind, CEO of ViaCyte at Headquarters in La Jolla

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The Corporate Source Honors National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month Champion

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, in partnership with The Corporate Source, a Garden City-based nonprofit that creates employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, honored Robert Rodriguez, a Bay Shore amputee, with the National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Champion Award.  Recognizing the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce, The Corporate Source invited prominent Long Island businesses to nominate an employee with a disability who they believed should be chosen as a NDEAM Champion among Long Island employers.

Rodriguez, 30, whose right leg was amputated below the knee when he was 10 months old, was nominated for the distinction by his employers at East Coast Orthotic & Prosthetic Corp., which is owned by brothers Larry and Vincent Benenati.  Four judges selected Rodriguez from a pool of 10 applicants because of his outstanding enthusiasm and commitment to helping other amputees.

“The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation salutes the work of  the work of The Corporate Source for providing dignity through employment opportunities to those who might otherwise be marginalized for a disability,” said foundation President Peter J. Klein.

For more information about The Corporate Source click here.

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Project Accessible Oral Health Funded by Claire Friedlander Family Foundation

The Claire Friedlander Foundation is very proud to fund Project Accessible Oral Health (PAOH), created by the The Viscardi Center and Henry Schein, Inc.. PAOH is an international public-private partnership that will raise awareness of, and address the significant need for, increased oral health care for people with disabilities, thus improving their overall health and quality of life.

People with disabilities face a number of barriers to accessing quality oral health care, from the difficulty in paying for treatment, to obtaining dental coverage, to the physical challenges of accessing a practitioner’s office or being seated in a dental chair. For oral health care practitioners, lack of alignment within the reimbursement system creates an added challenge to serving this population, which requires ongoing professional development and training to address the unique needs of children and adults with diverse disabilities.

To kick off its proactive work to address these and other obstacles to improved care and healthier outcomes, PAOH will host an inaugural two-day meeting October 26-27, convening many of the world’s foremost experts from the fields of dentistry and disabilities-focused health care, as well as dental educators, advocates, and members of the disabilities community, public health and policy experts, and representatives from the dental industry. Together, these stakeholders will explore ways to improve access to oral health care for people with disabilities while advancing oral health literacy among the broader community.

Dr. Steve Perlman, founder of Special Olympics Special Smiles, will serve as the keynote speaker for the first day of the event, which will be held at The Viscardi Center in Albertson, N.Y. The day will feature panel discussions on accessibility and disability in health care, public policy trends at the intersection of oral health and disabilities, and the personal accounts of health care providers and members of the disabilities community.

Peter J. Klein, President The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation says “recognizing and addressing the need for better oral health care for people with disabilities is a stepping stone to a greater understanding and empathy within the dental community.  By providing the opportunity for ongoing professional development and an analysis of the delivery and payment systems, we hope to increase their access to quality care.”

The second day of the event, being held at the NYU College of Dentistry in Manhattan, will feature panel discussions on the global scope of the issue and the potential impact of successful collaborations. Rabbi Kalman Samuels, founder of the Jerusalem-based Shalva Children’s Center, will serve as the day’s keynote speaker. Shalva, a non-denominational organization that provides programming and care for children and adults with disabilities, will serve as the host for PAOH’s 2018 meeting in Israel.

PAOH is also supported by the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders, Bedford Healthcare Solutions, Colgate, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation, the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, the New York State Dental Association Foundation, the Pacific Dental Services Foundation, and the Special Care Dentistry Association.

For more information about PAOH, including a series of blogs and a schedule of the meeting’s featured speakers and presentations, please visit www.projectaoh.org.

 

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Applications Open! Long Island Imagine Awards Nonprofit Grants

The 6th  Annual Long Island Imagine Awards is scheduled for Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 6:00pm-10:00pm at the Crest Hollow Country Club, Woodbury, NY.  This gala event was created to offer formal acknowledgement to some of Long Island’s most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits can apply to win a $5,000 grant in five categories: The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation Award for Arts and Culture, the Empire National Bank Award for Innovation, the Certilman, Balin, Adler & Hyman LLP Award for Leadership Excellence,  the Rising Star Award and the Cerini and Associates Award for Social Impact. Of the pool of applicants, 20 will be selected as finalists and one in each category will be awarded the grant LIVE at the awards ceremony on May 1, 2018 at the Crest Hollow Country Club. The deadline for applications is Monday, November 27, 2017.

The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation is pleased to support the Long Island Imagine Awards Arts and Culture Award category.  “Long Island arts and culture organizations provide a stunning array of creative and engaging programs for our community.  The foundation wanted to represent this award to shine a light on these agencies who have to compete for funding against other nonprofits,” said Peter J. Klein, President.

Click here to apply & for more information Long Island Imagine Awards