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Caron broadens support for its programs through annual gala

May 5, 2011
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Marketing of May 18 event features informative videos

Seventeen years into the history of its signature gala event, Caron Treatment Centers has added a new wrinkle to the promotion of its New York City celebration, with a series of 60-second videos capturing the spirit of the event while educating new audiences of potential program supporters.

Produced with the assistance of New York City-based marketing organization Phil & Co. (which specializes in working with nonprofit organizations), the fast-paced black-and-white videos include alumni testimonials as well as comments from business leaders and celebrities who will be headlining the May 18 gala.

“We packed a lot into 60 seconds,” says Todd Whitmer, regional vice president of development at Caron’s New York operation.

The second of three planned video spots made its debut this week; the latest installment is designed to have a business focus and it features the comments of gala honoree Thomas J. Moran, president and CEO of Mutual of America.

“There can be no greater drain on a business than to have an employee that’s suffering addiction,” Moran says in the video. Moran will receive the Richard J. Caron Award of Excellence for his corporate and humanitarian leadership and his support of Caron’s mission. Adds Whitmer, “The workplace is often the last place affected by someone’s addiction. The feeling for some is, ‘As long as I’m working, my problem can’t be that bad.’”

The other two videos in Caron’s series have an entertainment industry and a family/recovery focus. New Orleans music legend Dr. John will perform at the May 18 gala and is featured prominently in the first video in the series.

Whitmer explains that Caron’s annual event traditionally attracts at least a segment of individuals who are new to an understanding of the treatment field and to Caron’s activities. Proceeds from the event support scholarships for residential treatment clients, as well as follow-up services conducted at Caron’s New York operation (which does not provide direct care). Some of this year’s proceeds will assist musicians as well.

Caron’s annual gala typically attracts an attendance of about 500 and raises close to $1 million, or around 10 percent of the organization’s total fundraising base. For more information, visit