From left, Autism Speaks board member Eric London, Zach London, Carole Mirkin, Gary Mirkin, Michael Giangregorio, and Karen London
The 2007 London Award in recognition of outstanding service to the organization was given to Michael Giangregorio and the Mirkin family. The award was presented at a March 16 awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Giangregorio has served as the Long Island Walk Chair for 2004, 2005, and 2006. Under his direction and leadership, the Long Island Walk has achieved record-breaking success, raising $1.2 million with 15,000 participants in 2005, and an astounding $2 million with 20,000 participants in 2006. Giangregorio and his wife Alison's own walk team, “Partners in Hope,” has achieved Platinum Supporter status and has raised more than $100,000 in funds since joining the organization in 2003.
The success of the Long Island Walk is due in large part to Giangregorios unwavering commitment, energetic determination, and resourcefulness in developing monetary and in-kind contributions that have enabled it to thrive while holding expenses down. For every event in the past three years, Giangregorio has successfully helped to coordinate event logistics, recruit volunteers, garner refreshment donations, attract entertainment, and much more. He has continued to provide excellent direction while never losing sight of the myriad details that add up to a flawlessly executed event.
In addition to serving as a Walk chair, Giangregorio has helped Autism Speaks in many other capacities, including mentoring new Walk chairs in other communities, participating as a presenter at the National Conference in Washington, and helping advance the advocacy agenda by building strong relationships with both state and national government leaders. He has also served as a local spokesperson and shared his personal story in many venues to help increase autism awareness.
“The growth and development of the Long Island Walk has been a tremendous success story for Autism Speaks, and Michael Giangregorio has been a critical part of that success,” said Karen London, NAAR's co-founder, who presented him with the award. “He's a true hero for this cause.”