Utica Mayor’s Gala will benefit Kelberman Center, help support early intervention for individuals with autism

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Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri and his wife Susan have chosen The Kelberman Center as the recipient of the 2018 Mayor’s Gala, to be held on Saturday, April 28, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Utica.

Tickets are $50 per person. They can be purchased at www.uticamayorsbenefitgala.com or checks can be made payable to The Kelberman Center and mailed to: The Kelberman Center, 2608 Genesee St., Utica New York 13502. 

Tickets will also be available at the door.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in six children in the U.S. have a developmental disability. This ratio equates to 2,300 children in Utica.

“Research has continually proven that high-quality, early intervention makes a significant impact in changing and improving a child’s trajectory and quality of life,” the announced noted.

“Despite this fact, there is a major gap in the availability of appropriate and timely screening as autism can be diagnosed around age 2, yet the average age of diagnosis nationally doesn’t occur until years later,” the announcement added.

With funding support from the Gala, the Center is launching an early intervention screening initiative led by a clinical licensed psychologist through the Kelberman Center Clinic.

The program aims to help
families with children up to 8 years of age by catching early warning signs and then assisting in accessing appropriate services and resources.

The initiative is available for all children and families, but targets those in poverty who otherwise would not have access to these services.

The screening program is accessible and mobile and can be brought into schools, community organizations or homes.

Mayor Palmieri said, “You can tell the heart of a community by how it treats those who are most vulnerable. Utica is a warm and giving community and in that spirit we are excited to support The Kelberman Center in their mission to screen and assist Utica’s children with developmental disabilities.”

Susan Palmieri added, “We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the many local restaurants and businesses whose generous donations make the Gala a successful event each year. We encourage everyone to come and join us for a wonderful evening.”

Dr. Michael Kelberman said, “As the parent of a son on the autism spectrum, I can personally attest to the long-term benefits of early intervention and supports. At The Kelberman Center, we believe everyone should have access to early screenings which can greatly improve the ability to achieve the best possible outcome in the future.”

“We are incredibly grateful to the Mayor’s office and the always-generous Utica community for helping us make this screening program a reality. Community support has been the foundation which allows The Kelberman Center to create programs with a standard of excellence that become models for providers across the nation. As a non-profit that relies on such support, and on behalf of hundreds of local families, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Kelberman added.

For more information about The Kelberman Center visit www.KelbermanCenter.org.

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