Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network, announced the 2020 ADAPT Leadership Award honorees for its 2020 ADAPT Leadership Awards Gala to take place on Thursday, March 12th, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

The awards honor the accomplishments of extraordinary individuals and corporations who have made an impact on people with disabilities and have inspired others through their professional and charitable endeavors. The gala benefits the important ongoing programs and services of ADAPT Community Network.

The 2020 ADAPT Leadership Awards Honorees are:

  • Ali Stroker ‐ Actor, 2019 Tony Award-winner for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, first actor in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway.
  • LaChanze – Tony, SAG, and Emmy-winning actress. Star of Broadway’s A Christmas Carol, Once on This Island, The Color Purple, and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
  • Craig Melvin – news anchor of NBC News’ TODAY, co-host of the 3rd hour of TODAY, and an anchor on MSNBC Live.
  • Lindsay Czarniak – Emmy Award-winning NASCAR studio host for FOX Sports’ NASCAR RACE HUB: WEEKEND EDITION and Thursday’s NASCAR RACE HUB shows, and a FOX NFL sideline reporter.
  • Scott and Jillian Copeland ‐ Co-Founders of Main Street Connect and the Diener School – will be this year’s recipients of The Hausman Humanitarian Award recognizing exceptional humanitarian contributions that give back to the community. The Hausman Family is the founding family of UCP of NYC, now ADAPT Community Network.
    Connection – Provider of IT services and advanced technology solutions to business, government, and healthcare markets.

“We are honored to have such distinguished and deserving honorees for our 2020 ADAPT Leadership Awards,” said Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network. “Ali Stroker is a groundbreaking trailblazer and an inspiration to everyone with special needs. She is also a dedicated supporter of ADAPT Community Network and a longtime co-chair of Women Who Care. LaChanze is a role-model as a world-acclaimed international star who, like so many on 9/11, faced tragedy and persevered. Craig Melvin and Lindsay Czarniak are both highly respected in the world of news and sports media. They have both worked tirelessly to help a wide range of organizations helping families, raising awareness for important medical issues and education in our community and nationwide. Scott and Jillian Copeland, recipients of this year’s Hausman Humanitarian Award, have devoted themselves to providing much needed housing for people with special needs. Connection is a leader in its industry whose extraordinary standard of service has been invaluable in helping us meet our technology needs.”

The event will be hosted by Cara Buono, actress, activist, co-star of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, and Emmy‐nominee for her role on Mad Men. She is also currently playing supervillain Gamemnae on the CW’s Supergirl. The 2020 ADAPT Leadership Awards Honorary Gala Chairs are Al Roker, co‐anchor and weather anchor of NBC’s Today Show, and co-host of the 3rd hour of TODAY; and Deborah Roberts, ABC News correspondent for 20/20, Nightline, Good Morning America, and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir.

Honorary Gala Co‐Chairs are (in alphabetical order): Tamsen Fadal, 12‐time Emmy‐winning anchor of PIX 11 News, host of Broadway Profiles, past ADAPT host, and Honorary Vice Chair of the ADAPT Board of Directors; Abigail Hawk, star of the hit series Blue Bloods and past ADAPT celebrity presenter; Susan Lucci, Emmy‐winning actress, New York Times best‐selling author, entrepreneur, past ADAPT honoree and host; and Mike Woods, meteorologist and reporter for FOX 5’s Good Day New York, and past ADAPT host, Co-Chair, and presenter. Gala Co‐Chairs of the 2020 ADAPT Leadership Awards are: Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network; Daniel Murphy, Jr., Managing Partner of Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP; and Alan Zack, President of Alliance Brokerage Corp.

Willie Geist, host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, a regular host and contributor to TODAY, and author of the New York Times bestsellers Good Talk, Dad, and American Freak Show, will be presenting the award to Ali Stroker.

For gala ticket & table information, or sponsorship opportunities, contact: adaptgala@tbg-world.com or call 212.696.1100×19.

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