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Brain Injury Association of New York State to Host Kick Off Cocktail Reception

NEW YORK, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is hosting a kick off cocktail reception to announce its Second Annual Journey of Hope Gala on 9/9/09 at the headquarters of the National Football League. The main event, The Journey of Hope Gala will be held on October 28th at Manhattan's Hard Rock Cafe with actress Lorraine Bracco and comedian Penny Marshall serving as Honorary Chairs.

BIANYS provides services and advocacy for individuals with brain injury and their families, including military veterans (1 in 5 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan sustain a TBI). BIANYS also advocates for prevention awareness. Proceeds from the Gala will provide financial support to BIANYS.

Honored at the gala are Bob Woodruff of ABC News and Trish Meili, "the Central Park Jogger," each receiving the "Victory Award." D. Thomas Ruttura and Peter Ruttura of Ruttura & Sons Construction will receive the "Corporate Citizens of the Year" for philanthropy along with Rehabilitation Neuropsychologist Deborah M. Benson who is being honored with the "Champion of Hope Award." Serving as Master of Ceremonies for the event is ABC Weatherman Bill Evans.

Both Woodruff and Meili represent true survival stories and will speak to living in a world with brain injury, a place previously unknown to each before their personal experience. Woodruff survived a massive brain trauma when a vehicle he was riding in hit a road bomb while on assignment in Iraq. Many know Meili as the jogger who survived a devastating attack by five men in Central Park 20 years ago.

About two million brain injuries of all types occur each year in the U.S. impacting individual and family lives. Dinner committee member, Joanne Miller said, "When my son was injured, I was in a fog. BIANYS reached out to our family with information and support." Miller's son was severely injured in a construction accident while working at the World Trade Center site.

Bracco and Marshall began supporting BIANYS two years ago when a close friend sustained a brain injury. Bracco & Marshall donated and stocked the first auction with celebrity memorabilia from their friends. This year attendees are looking forward to seeing Bracco reprise her role as auctioneer at the organization's first red carpet affair ever in Manhattan.

For tickets, corporate sponsorships, call Tracey Gittere 516-222-0550. Press inquiries/attendance contact Amy Sigona 201-280-2214.

SOURCE Brain Injury Association of New York State
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