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Kelli O'Hara, Nicki Richards and More to Appear at SAY 2021 Virtual Gala Honoring Dr. Cleavon Gilman

SAY’s Virtual 2021 Annual Gala will premiere during National Stuttering Awareness Week, running from May 10-15, 2021.

Kelli O'Hara, Nicki Richards and More to Appear at SAY 2021 Virtual Gala Honoring Dr. Cleavon Gilman

SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young will host its Virtual 2021 Annual Gala on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7:00 PM EST, honoring Emergency Medicine Physician and public health advocate, Dr. Cleavon Gilman. This free event will stream live at SAYGala.org and be simulcast on Facebook and YouTube, to raise crucial funds in support of SAY's life-changing programs for young people who stutter.

SAY's Virtual 2021 Gala will debut an original performance directed by SAY Founder, Taro Alexander, with Musical Direction by Everett Bradley, and feature special guests Kelli O'Hara, Nicki Richards, and the kids and community of SAY. Gala Honoree, Dr. Cleavon Gilman, will join the event live to receive the SAY: Hero Award. Dr. Gilman is a U.S. Navy veteran, an emergency room physician, an outspoken public health advocate, and a person who stutters, who chronicled the realities of the COVID-19 outbreak from the front lines and continues to raise awareness about the coronavirus pandemic. "Dr. Gilman is a shining example that people who stutter can achieve anything, and we are thrilled to be honoring him with the SAY: Hero Award," says SAY's Executive Director, Noah Cornman.

During the last year, SAY has offered remote online access to their programming for young people who stutter across the United States and beyond. "We are so proud that the SAY community continues to grow and to meet this unprecedented time with resilience, hope, and unity. Our fundraising events are an integral part of our ability to service young people who stutter and their families, and the need grows as our community does," adds Cornman. "It's exciting to bring the SAY Gala to a virtual stage and we love that it will stream live for free so everyone can experience and enjoy this spectacular performance."

SAY's Virtual 2021 Annual Gala will premiere during National Stuttering Awareness Week, running from May 10-15, 2021. NSAW was conceived to shine a global light on stuttering, a complex fluency disorder that touches over 70 million people worldwide, including 5% of all children. "Children who stutter often face daily ridicule, teasing and bullying, and resort to silence to hide their stuttering. Many will withdraw from peers, teachers, and society, leaving them feeling isolated and alone," states Travis Robertson, SAY's Vice President of Programming & Director of Camp SAY. "Our 2021 Gala will be live streamed to a global audience, so it's a great opportunity to celebrate the voices of young people who stutter with the world, and to let people who stutter everywhere know that they are not alone. National Stuttering Awareness Week is the perfect time for that message to truly resonate."

Proceeds from this Virtual 2021 Annual Gala will help SAY provide vital programming for kids and teens who stutter, including Camp SAY, Camp SAY Across the USA, Speech Therapy, Confident Voices, and Washington DC-based, SAY: DC. "The funds raised by our Virtual Gala will help keep SAY's programming available to every child who stutters, regardless of financial constraints. That is SAY's essential legacy, and it's more important now than it ever has been," Cornman notes.

SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides support, advocacy and life-changing experiences for young people who stutter, ages 3-18. Since 2001, SAY has offered comprehensive and innovative programs that address the physical, social, and emotional impacts of stuttering. Through summer camp, regional day camps, speech therapy, and creative arts programming, SAY builds a community of acceptance, friendship, and encouragement where young people who stutter can develop the confidence and communication skills they need to thrive. To date, no child has ever been turned away due to a family's inability to pay.

To learn more about SAY's 2021 Virtual Annual Gala, visit SAYGala.org.


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