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Hope for Depression Research Honors Donors at Tenth Anniversary Dinner

Depression is complicated.  Its causes and treatments vary from individual to individual.  It is certainly a traumatic  hurdle  that creates much unnecessary turmoil out of lives that have no noticeable reason to not have peace. Tens of millions of people struggle with depression every day. The Hope for Depression research Foundation (HDRF) is working to change the way depression is diagnosed, treated, viewed and researched.

Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) marked its tenth anniversary with a dinner honoring high-level donors on Saturday, March 12th in The Gold Room at the Breakers Hotel. HDRF Founder and Chair Audrey Gruss hosted the event. Co-Chairs were Scott Snyder, William Flaherty and Susan Lloyd.

William Flaherty, audrey Gruss, Susan Lloyd

William Flaherty, Audrey Gruss, Susan Lloyd and Scott Snyder

The evening’s program featured keynote speaker David Payne, the New York Times notable author who read from his recent best seller Barefoot to Avalon, a gripping memoir about his brother who struggled with bipolar disorder. HDRF neuroscientists and psychiatrists were seated at every table. Dr. Michael Meaney of McGill University, a world figure in neurobiology, gave an update on latest advances by the HDRF Depression Task Force, a unique collaboration of top researchers from across the US and Canada.

Kate Kennedy and David Payne

Kate Kennedy and David Payne

Dr Josh Gordon, Dr Rene Hen, Dr Harold Koenigsberg, Dr Michael Meany

Dr. Josh Gordon, Dr. Rene Hen, Dr. Harold Koenigsberg, Dr. Eric Nestler, Dr. Michael Meany

The guest also enjoyed the ravishing setting of the Gold Room, decorated by Scott Snyder with lush fishtail palm trees and towering vases of forsythia. Votive candles in glass flutes seemed to float over the tables, covered in the organization’s signature color of yellow and decorated with bowls of yellow calla lilies. The menu featured a crab cake and shrimp appetizer, followed by filet mignon, and finished with a dessert of hazelnut chocolate molten cake.

Members of the Chairman’s Council who attended were: James Borynack, George and Jane Bunn, Janet and JJ Cafaro, Denis and Annabelle Coleman, Luce Churchill, Mary and Marvin Davidson, Jackie Drake, Mark and Mary Frietas, Sarah Gates and Alexander Ives, Mai Hallingby Harrison, Eleanora Kennedy, Carole and John Moran, Barbara and Randall Smith, Robert Nederlander and Susan Keenan, and Lis Waterman.

Marvin and Mary Davidson

Mary and Marvin Davidson

Priscilla Whittle and Elenora Kennedy

Priscilla Whittle and Elenora Kennedy


Audrey Gruss created the organization in 2006 in memory of her mother Hope, who struggled with clinical depression. The mission of HDRF is to fund cutting-edge, neuroscience research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and related mood disorders – bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety disorder and suicide. In 2010, HDRF launched its Depression Task Force (DTF) – an outstanding collaboration of seven leading scientists, at the frontiers of brain science, from different research institutions across the U.S. and Canada. These scientists have developed an unprecedented research strategy that integrates the most advanced knowledge in genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology, and brain imaging. To accelerate breakthrough research, they share ongoing results, in real time, at the new HDRF Data Center. A corollary mission is to raise awareness and end stigma. For more information, visit: www.hopefordepression.org