NAMI-NYC's 2023 Seeds of Hope Gala Raises $780,000 and Counting for Mental Health Prevention Programs  - National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City , Inc.

NAMI-NYC’s 2023 Seeds of Hope Gala Raises $780,000 and Counting for Mental Health Prevention Programs 

New York, NY – The National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI-NYC) raised $780,000 and counting at its 2023 Seeds of Hope Gala Celebration at the iconic Ziegfeld Ballroom on Monday, October 2.   

NAMI-NYC honored former MLB player and suicide attempt survivor Drew Robinson, NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, and Deutsche Bank for their commitment to preventative, peer-based mental health initiatives. “NAMI-NYC’s peer and family support are an essential part of mental health care plans. Families are the foundation of preventing endless cycles of hospitalizations, incarceration, and homelessness. Peer support charts a path to stability and success, and that’s why the Council included family support in the Mental Health Roadmap,” shared Speaker Adams.  

“Thank you so much to our honorees and supporters who understand the value of preventative peer support, as well as family support for New Yorkers who are caring for their loved ones with mental illness,” shared Matt Kudish. Renown auctioneer Lydia Fenet raised $100K on the spot in an energetic live action for NAMI-NYC programs. 

The event amplified the voices of peers with lived experience. “I’ve experienced one of the darkest moments that almost cost me my life. I’m thankful to have survived and I hope that people learn from my story,” shared former MLB player Drew Robinson with his service dog Ellie on stage. Drew has dedicated himself to ending the stigma surrounding mental health and promoting peer-to-peer support for those in need. 

“I’ve faced my own mental health challenges. But by sharing our stories and learning from each other, we can build a more supportive and empathetic workplace,” shared Rachel Duncan, Deutsche Bank (DB), Vice President, Regional Management.  With support from Alessandra DiGiusto, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and Chair of the Foundation Board Gary Beyer, DB is a founding member of NAMI-NYC’s Mental Health Collaborative, which will now be open to any industry in 2024.   

NAMI-NYC also recognized its extraordinary Volunteers of the Year, who serve as Helpline Responders, support group facilitators, class instructors, family mentors, and much more. Long time participant and Volunteer of the Year Miguel Andersson had a candid and heartfelt fireside chat with our host Ashley Russo about his mental health journey, “NAMI-NYC is unlike any other organization with its programs for peers and for families. When my parents attended the Family-to-Family class, my parents understood that my behaviors were a part of my mental health challenges, and it really helped our relationship.” 

Deep gratitude and appreciation to our supporters: Deutsche Bank, The Dextra Baldwin McGonagle Foundation, Steven and Shelley Einhorn, Jeff Schoenfeld & Matt Holbein, Kramer Levin, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Stacy and Jason Helfstein, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, Aetna, Barclays, Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus, Michelle Feig, Goldman Sachs, The Kudish and Martinez Families, Sara Meltzer, New York Football Giants, New York-Presbyterian, Oak Hill Advisors, Oberland, The Pasquinelli Foundation, PMI, Nathan Romano & Stine Welhaven, Susan and Sam Schwartz, Seward & Kissel LLP, and Two Rivers Partners, LLC.  

To learn about how to get involved with our Gala in the future, reach out to our Director of Development, Kate Steele at To connect to a program that’s right for you or a loved one, call our Helpline at 212-684-3264 or visit