"Night of the Imperial Dragon" 2012 Gala Award Recipients

The Dave Nee Foundation is proud to announce its "Night of the Imperial Dragon" 2012 Gala Award Recipients!

Former Senator Gordon Smith to Accept Ray of Light Award at 2012 Gala

The Dave Nee Foundation is pleased to announce that former Senator Gordon Smith will receive the Foundation’s fourth annual Ray of Light Award to be presented at our Gala, “Night of the Imperial Dragon,” on Friday, November 2, 2012 at Capitale in New York City. 

The Ray of Light Award recognizes outstanding contributors to the field of mental health, suicide prevention and depression awareness.  Senator Smith's tireless leadership in improving access to quality mental health services and his deep-rooted commitment to developing and protecting suicide prevention and other mental health programs—born out of his own tragic experience of his beloved son’s suicide—mirror the goals and efforts of the Dave Nee Foundation and are thus richly deserving of this award.

Gordon H. Smith, is a former United States Senator and businessman from the state of Oregon. A Republican, he served two terms in the Senate. Born in Eastern Oregon, Smith was raised there and in Maryland before attending Brigham Young University and Southwestern University School of Law. Prior to election to the U.S. Senate, he served in the Oregon State Senate including one session as President of Oregon's State Senate in 1995. In 2009, he was named as President of the National Association of Broadcasters. Smith wrote a book entitled Remembering Garrett, One Family's Battle with a Child's Depression, based on the 1993 loss of his son Garrett, age 21, to suicide. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act, authorizing $82 million for suicide-prevention and awareness programs at colleges.

The Dave Nee Foundation is grateful for Senator Smith's longstanding leadership in expanding youth suicide prevention efforts, legislating for mental health parity, and protecting access to mental health services for all those who need it.  His ability to turn great personal tragedy into a source of hope for so many others inspires those of us at the Dave Nee Foundation every day, and we are honored to commend Senator Gordon Smith for the wonderful work he has done by accepting the Ray of Light Award on November 2, 2012.

The Dave Nee Foundation Honors Georgetown Law Deans for Mental Health Advocacy Among Law Students

The Dave Nee Foundation has selected William Treanor, Dean at Georgetown University Law Center and Mitchell Bailin, Dean of Students at Georgetown University Law Center as its 2012 David S. Stoner Uncommon Counselor Awardees. The Award is given annually to a member or members of the legal profession who exhibit extraordinary compassion and concern for their co-workers, family, friends, and community.

William Treanor is being honored for his leadership at both Fordham and Georgetown Law Schools in the area of mental health awareness.  In the wake of Dave Nee’s suicide, Treanor not only was a source of great comfort and support to the Fordham Law community, he made mental health and suicide prevention programs a priority.  In addition, Dean Treanor was an integral part of the Dave Nee Foundation’s inception and has been an advocate of the organization ever since.  His support has been critical to the Foundation's success.

Mitchell Bailin has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health issues at Georgetown Law by building a network of resources available to his students and using various methods to inform the student body of them.  Most notably, Dean Bailin is praised for the personal relationships he has built with his students.  A former student stated, “When my law professor scheduled a meeting for me with Dean Bailin, I thought getting through my depression was hopeless.  Little did I know that Dean Bailin would be a source of hope throughout the hardest struggle of my life. . . .  He is the one who I can’t thank enough.  And I am just one of the many students he has helped.”  Other law school administrators have similarly praised Bailin’s work, commenting that his department is the “gold standard” for mental health awareness.

The David S. Stoner Uncommon Counselor Awards will be presented at the Dave Nee Foundation’s Annual Gala on November 2, 2012 at Capitale in New York City.

The Dave Nee Foundation was created in the wake of the 2005 suicide of Dave Nee, a brilliant individual who struggled silently with depression for many years.  The Dave Nee Foundation’s innovative and unique program, Uncommon Counsel, fights depression and works to prevent suicide by educating law students about depression, its prevalence in the legal profession, and the availability and effectiveness of treatment.  The Dave Nee Foundation also administers a grant-giving program that includes an annual grant awarded to a deserving organization whose mission is to support those with depression and/or prevent suicide.