NEW YORK CITY - Dick Grasso, chairman and chief executive officer of the New York Stock Exchange, played a key role in helping to raise the nation's spirit after the events of September 11th. Recently, he helped raise more than $630,000 for autism research as the honoree of the National Alliance for Autism Research's (NAAR) 2002 Award Dinner.
Nearly 400 guests, including many from the Wall Street community, attended the event held June 18 at the Waldorf - Astoria in Manhattan. The dinner was chaired by William Bell, vice chairman, Cablevision Systems Corporation; and John Mulheren, chief executive officer of Bear Wagner Specialists, LLC. Honorary chairs included NAAR Honorary Board members, Lisa and Will Clark, Laurie and Doug Flutie, and Claire and Dan Marino.
"We our honored to recognize Mr. Grasso and the significant role the Wall Street community plays under his leadership in supporting autism research," said Prisca Chen Marvin, president of the National Alliance for Autism Research. "We are also extremely grateful for the hard work and generosity of our dinner chairs, William Bell and John Mulheren, who made the event such a success, as well as all members of the Dinner Committee."
After a moving video presentation on autism produced by Cablevision and MSG Networks and a spirited live auction hosted by Bear Wagner's Frank Delaney, Mr. Grasso discussed the importance of NAAR's mission to fund autism research.
"I am very happy to support the efforts of NAAR because so many people in the country are affected by autism spectrum disorders," said Mr. Grasso. "We feel autism is a disorder that does not currently have the level of funding and community support that it truly deserves. We have seen through NAAR's good efforts some $10 million committed to research. I think it is so very important for us to get behind the research that we hope will one day find a cure."
NAAR is also grateful for the efforts of Dinner Committee Chairs, Andrew Cerise, managing director, Bear Wagner Specialists, LLC; John Cleary, partner, Seward & Kissel; and Daniel F. Ryan, executive vice president, SG Cowen. Mr. Cerise and Mr. Ryan are members of the Board of Directors for NAAR's Long Island chapter.
The Wall Street community is a strong supporter of NAAR through the Long Island Walk F.A.R. for NAAR autism research walkathon. The New York Stock Exchange serves as a sponsor of the event and many members of the Exchange and their families participate in the walk. In the past two years, the Long Island Walk raised more than $1 million for autism research.
This year's Long Island Walk F.A.R. For NAAR takes place Saturday, September 28 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, NY. In addition, Walk F.A.R. For NAAR autism research walks are taking place this fall in Buffalo, NY; New England (Brighton, MA); Central New Jersey (Mercer County); Northern New Jersey (Giants Stadium); Miami/Dade County, FL; Broward County, FL; and Palm Beach, FL.