STRANGER THINGS' Cara Buono to Host the ADAPT Leadership Awards

STRANGER THINGS' Cara Buono to Host the ADAPT Leadership Awards

Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network, announced its 2019 ADAPT Leadership Awards Gala to take place on Thursday, March 14th, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The event will be hosted by Cara Buono, co-star of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, and Emmy-nominee for her role on Mad Men. 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. This year's honorees will be announced next month.

"Cara Buono is a longtime supporter of ADAPT Community Network, both as a celebrity presenter at our past Women Who Care luncheon as well as a presenter at last year's inaugural ADAPT Leadership Awards," says Edward R. Matthews. "We are delighted to have her as our gala host for the first time this year and appreciate her ongoing support."

The 2019 ADAPT Leadership Awards Honorary Gala Chairs are Al Roker, co-anchor and weather anchor of NBC's Today Show, 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 Susan Lucci, Emmy-winning actress, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and past ADAPT honoree and host; Tamsen Fadal, 11-time Emmy-winning anchor of PIX 11 News, past ADAPT host, and Honorary Vice Chair of the ADAPT Board of Directors; and Mike Woods, meteorologist and reporter for FOX 5's Good Day New York, and past ADAPT host.

Gala Co-Chairs of the 2019 ADAPT Leadership Awards are: Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network; Marty & Helaine Hausman; Marissa Shorenstein, President, Northeast, AT&T; and Alan Zack.

"We are honored to have such distinguished Chairs and Co-Chairs for our 2019 ADAPT Leadership Awards," says Matthews. "Al Roker and Deborah Roberts are our first ever honorees. They are not only leaders in the media world but have worked for over two decades to help children and families from all walks of life, including children with disabilities, and are longtime supporters of ADAPT Community Network. "Susan Lucci, Tamsen Fadal, and Mike Woods are among our most dedicated celebrity ambassadors, and over the years have hosted major fundraisers and worked tirelessly to raise awareness for the programs and services of ADAPT."

Cara Buono plays Karen Wheeler on the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. She earned an Emmy nomination for her role as Dr. Faye Miller on Mad Men. Her many notable television roles include work on The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Person of Interest, NCIS, all the Law & Order shows, and this season's new Amazon series, The Romanoffs. She also recently co-starred in the new film, Sundance award-winner, Monsters & Men. She has appeared on both Broadway and Off-Broadway.

In 2012, Cara co-founded Liberty United with her husband, entrepreneur and Ethos Water founder, Peter Thum. Liberty United turns illegal guns into beautiful jewelry and accessories that fund programs to help victims of gun violence. Cara has been a volunteer rape crisis/domestic victims advocate with St. Luke's Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center since 1992. She traveled to Bhutan to volunteer with Surgicorps International. A longtime supporter of ADAPT Community Network, she is both a past celebrity presenter at the ADAPT Leadership inaugural Gala as well as a celebrity presenter at the Women Who Care Awards Luncheon.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Cara graduated from Columbia University with a double major in English Literature and Political Science in three years. She ran three NY City Marathons.

Al Roker has been the weather and feature anchor on NBC News' TODAY since January 1996. From July 2009 to September 2015 he served as co-host of the morning show "Wake Up with Al" on the Weather Channel. Until January of 2000, Roker also served as the weekday weather forecaster for News Channel 4's early evening newscast Live at 5 on WNBC-TV, NBC's flagship owned and operated station in New York City.

New York magazine has twice named Roker Best Weatherman. He came to WNBC-TV as a weekend weathercaster in December 1983 from WKYC-TV, the NBC Television Station in Cleveland. Roker began his broadcasting career while still in college by landing a job as a weekend weatherman WTVH-TV in Syracuse, N.Y. in 1974. After graduation he moved on to weathercasting jobs in Washington, D.C. (1976-1978) and Cleveland, Ohio (1978-1983). He is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society's prestigious Seal of Approval and has been a pioneer in the use of computer graphics for weathercasting. Roker was awarded a Daytime Emmy award in 2010 as part of TODAY's recognition as the best morning newscast. In November 2014, Roker made history on TODAY for "Rokerthon" in which he broke the Guinness World Record for the Longest Uninterrupted Live Weather Report Broadcast; he provided 34 hours of continuous weather coverage. The following year in October 2015, "Rokerthon 2" broke The Guinness World Records Title for the Fastest Time to Report a Weather Forecast from All 50 US States and the District of Colombia. Roker reported from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. in one week. In March 2017 for "Rokerthon "Roker visited five colleges across the country in five days and helped students break Guinness World Records.

Throughout the years, Roker has reported live for TODAY from some of history's worst storms and natural disasters. In January 2010, Roker reported from Haiti with the most up-to-date information on the earthquake devastation. In August 2010, Roker co-anchored live from the Lower Ninth Ward and the French Quarter in New Orleans for a special edition on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Among highlights of his career as an interviewer, Roker conducted an exclusive interview with Peanuts creator Charles Shultz shortly before his death from colon cancer.

Since 1985, he has served each holiday season in midtown Manhattan as co-host for the annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center. The 13-time Emmy award winner also co-hosts The MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE and Rose Bowl Parade and appears on various specials for NBC. For ten years, from 2001 - 2010, and in 2017, Roker's "Lend a Hand Today" initiative took him across the country and raised millions to help small charities across the country work towards improving conditions in their communities.

In 1994, Roker founded Al Roker Entertainment, Inc. (ARE), a thriving multimedia company involved in the development and production of network, cable, home video, and public television projects. ARE produces programming for a diverse clientele including NBC News, Lifetime Television, A&E, The History Channel, E!, Discovery Networks, PBS, TV ONE, Oxygen, The Cartoon Network and NBC Television Stations Group.

Roker is a bestselling author with 11 acclaimed books to his credit. His first book, "Don't Make Me Stop This Car: Adventures in Fatherhood" spent weeks atop the New York Times best-seller list. In May 2002, "Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue" was published and, quickly became a summer blockbuster hit. His second cookbook, "Al Roker's Hassle Free Holiday Cookbook", became a huge success as it prepared America's budding chefs for the holidays. "Big Shoes: In Celebration of Dads and Fatherhood" honors fathers and their contributions to lives of their children. Roker's 2010 publication, "The Morning Show Murders: A Novel" is an exciting crime novel that revolves around a fictional TV program much like TODAY. In January 2016, Roker and his wife, ABC News 20/20 Correspondent, Deborah Roberts, co-authored "Been There Done That: Family Wisdom For Modern Times." Roker wrote and executive produced two TV movies for Hallmark starring Holly Robinson Peete based on his best-selling murder mystery novels. Most recently, Roker released, "Al Roker's Extreme Weather: Tornadoes, Typhoons, and Other Weather Phenomena" and "Ruthless Tide." Roker is a co-host of Sirius XM's "Off the Rails," a weekly podcast with Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones.

Roker is a member of several professional organizations including the Friars Club, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Meteorological Society.

Raised in Queens, New York, Roker received his B.A. in Communications from the State University at Oswego in 1976, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the school in 1998. He resides in Manhattan with his wife and has two daughters and one son.

Deborah Roberts, an award-winning reporter and media veteran, is a highly respected news correspondent with a broad range of experience and expertise. Roberts reports consistently for ABC News' 20/20, Good Morning America, World News Tonight, and Nightline. Roberts has served as substitute anchor for Good Morning America, World News Weekend, 20/20, as well as a co-host on The View. Roberts' coverage at 20/20 has consistently produced extraordinary narratives such as an intimate profile of first lady Michelle Obama and an award-winning investigation into abuse within the Amish community. She has reported from AFRICA on the HIV/AIDS crisis and orphans, and provided historic coverage from Washington, D.C. on the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She has received multiple Emmy awards for her international and national coverage of world events, including her in-depth reporting on an Ethiopian American woman's emotional journey back to her African village to discover her long lost mother. Roberts is a longtime supporter of ADAPT Community Network and has been a celebrity presenter at its Women Who Care Awards Luncheon. She and Al Roker are past ADAPT Leadership Award honorees. Deborah has also narrated videos in support of the organization. She is author of Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom For Modern Times, a book written with her husband, Al Roker. She has been with ABC News for 20 years.

Susan Lucci, the most famous face in daytime television history, held audiences spellbound as the famed and fiery, "woman you love to hate," Erica Kane on ABC's, All My Children. In May 1999, on her 19th Emmy nomination, she won the award for Best Actress, becoming the most nominated actor in television history. Today, Susan Lucci remains one of the most revered actresses in Hollywood.

In 1999, she made her Broadway debut to rave reviews playing the part of Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. From 2013 through 2016, Susan starred in Lifetime TV's hit international series, Devious Maids, and in 2015 was seen in the critically acclaimed David O. Russell film, Joy. In 2017 she appeared in Grammy-nominated performing artist Sia's holiday music video, "Santa's Coming for Us."

Susan Lucci has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame. She is proud to serve as an Ambassador for the newly established National Women's Museum in Washington, D.C. She has been honored with the Disney Legends Award for her contribution to Disney's reputation for creative excellence. She has been named one of E! Entertainment's "Top Entertainers of the Year"; one of VH1's "200 Greatest Pop Icons" coming in at number 75; one of Barbara Walters' "Ten Most Fascinating People"; and one of TV Guide's "50 Top Television Stars of All Time." In 2011, she released her New York Times best-selling autobiography, All My Life.

Susan is a longtime supporter of ADAPT Community Network. She is a past Women Who Care Awards honoree and subsequently hosted the event for four years. She also narrated a PSA for the organization to raise awareness for women with disabilities to have screenings for breast cancer. She also generously donated a portion of the proceeds of her Everything but the House Auction to ADAPT Community Network and was a celebrity presenter at the inaugural ADAPT Leadership Awards.

Tamsen Fadal is an eleven-time Emmy award-winning journalist and anchor of PIX 11 News in New York at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. Tamsen is the executive producer and host of Broadway Profiles for The Broadway Channel. A longtime theater fan, Fadal made her Broadway debut in Chicago in January 2010, followed by on-stage debuts in Broadway's In the Heights and Rock of Ages.

In 2016, Tamsen received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). In 2015, she was named a "Power Woman" by Moves Magazine for her work on-air and in the community. In 2014, she was selected to receive the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard, and Airmen's Club Media Award for her work overseas with our troops.

Tamsen, a Lebanese-American, is passionate about empowering women and has appeared on The Talk, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Lifetime, A&E, and The CBS Early Show in support of this mission. She has co-authored three self-help books; her latest, The New Single: Finding, Fixing and Falling Back In Love With Yourself (St. Martin's Press), seeks to help women emerge from a big life change with confidence, grace, and a recipe for self-care.

She is the Honorary Vice Chair of the ADAPT Community Network Board of Directors, Board member of Best Buddies New York, and spokesperson for SHARE Cancer Support and North Shore Animal League. Tamsen lost her mother to breast cancer in 1990 and has been a long-time advocate of educating women and their families about this devastating disease and the necessity for early detection. In 2011, she co-founded Shansen Jewelry, alongside her cousin, actress Shannon Elizabeth, with a portion of all proceeds going to animal rescue and breast cancer charities.

Mike Woods joined FOX 5 NY in June 2001 as the weekend meteorologist and Good Day New York feature reporter. He became the morning meteorologist for Good Day New York in October 2003. Mike has covered many major weather events in the Tri-State area, including blizzards, nor'easters, hurricanes, and heat waves.

Most recently, he spent nearly 72 HOURS on-air covering Hurricane Irene. Mike is originally from Sacramento, Calif., but has lived in a variety of different cities around the country since 1993. His first job on the air was in eastern North Carolina, where he worked as the morning and noon weather anchor from 1993 to 1996. While in North Carolina, he covered several hurricanes, including Bertha and Fran in 1996. Before heading to New York, Mike provided the arid forecasts in the deserts of Phoenix from 1996 to 2001.

Mike has received an Emmy nomination for best weather forecast by the NATAS and, in 2009, McDonald's presented him with the Black Media Legends award. Mike is an active member and supporter of 100 Black Men, Inc. of New York and its Eagle Academy, The Ronald McDonald House, Housing Works, AYUDA for the Arts, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

An accomplished triathlete, Mike enjoys working out, skiing, and any activity involving physical fitness. He has been featured in Muscle and Fitness magazine in the "Real People" column. In 2018, he was honored with the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health Leadership Award.


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