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What a Night!

The SPAN 35th Anniversary Gala took place on December 12th and what a tremendous evening it was! The event was our largest gala with more than 165 attendees and 20 sponsors.

We were proud to honor the seven deserving awardees below who moved us with both their work and powerful acceptance speeches:

Power Through Policy Legislator Awards: Senator Teresa Ruiz (Education) 

Diana Cuthbertson Parent Leadership Award: LaVonia Abavana

Excellence in Media Award: Kelly Heyboer, Investigative Reporter and the Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Power Through Policy Legislator Award Assemblyman Daniel Benson (Healthcare)

Albert E. Pelham Employee Recognition Award: Maria Rodriguez

Board of Directors Extraordinary Service Award: John Pennett

Leadership Legacy Award: Diana Autin

Organizational Advocacy Leadership Award: NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice


SPAN Executive Co-Director, Diana Autin, who will be stepping down from her role on December 31, was also presented with a Leadership Legacy Award in recognition of her 28 years of leadership at SPAN and her many accomplishments on behalf of families, children and youth with the greatest need.

 It was an evening of celebration with good food, great fellowship, and recognition of SPAN’s 35 years of impact. 

Thank you to all who were able to attend!

Our Evening of Celebration

Special Tribute to Diana Autin

With Special thanks to our Sponsors

Thank You

Champion Sponsors

Ms. Elizabeth Alves/Learning Disability Association of New Jersey
John L. Autin
The Bohannon Family
Dr. Caroline Coffield/The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities
Lorraine D’Sylva-Lee/Lee Services
The Hayer Family
Alice Hunnicutt

Questions? Please email