Smithers Foundation celebrating over 5 decades of
philanthropy as the only foundation in America dedicated
solely to education about, and understanding,
of the disease of alcoholism.
EPRA (the Employment Program for Recovered Alcoholics) honored Mrs. Adele Smithers,
President of the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation, for her lifelong dedication to its work
and mission at the 25th Anniversary celebration held on November 10, 2003.
Mrs. Smithers has been a member of the EPRA board of directors since 1994 and has
devoted herself to the field of alcoholism for the past 43 years. She is an activist in
creating greater understanding of alcoholism as a treatable disease from which individuals
can and do recover. According to George J. O'Donnell, President of EPRA's Board of Directors,
"Adele's selfless caring and concern provides a spirit of enthusiasm and hope that is evidenced
in the successful recoveries of EPRA's clients who are able to lead happy, productive lives."
Mrs. Smithers received the prestigious "Lamp of Knowledge" award at a dinner in her
honor on Monday, November 10, 2003 at the Seventh Regiment Armory on Park Avenue in New York
City. Actor and comedian Pat Cooper provided entertainment for the evening's celebration. For
more information visit www.eprany.org.
EPRA has been providing vocational services to individuals in recovery for the past 25 years.
As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, EPRA serves to provide a bridge back to success
in the workplace for individuals who have effectively dealt with their alcoholism and drug
Grammy award winning vocalist Natalie Cole headlined the 50th Anniversary Gala, honoring the
Christopher D. Smithers Foundation at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on Wednesday
evening, May 7, 2003.
The Smithers Foundation 50th Anniversary Gala paid fitting tribute to many individuals who
have worked tirelessly towards reshaping America's attitude towards creating a better
understanding of alcoholism as a respectable disease from which individuals can and do
The evening featured a presentation of the R. Brinkley Smithers Lifetime Achievement Award.
Named in honor of the founder of the Smithers Foundation, it was presented to former First
Lady Betty Ford for her international impact on reducing the stigma associated with the
disease of alcoholism.
Singer-songwriter Paul Williams, also a multi-Grammy recipient, was presented with the
first annual Adele C. Smithers Award for his courage, compassion and commitment
in speaking out publicly about his personal recovery from the disease of alcoholism.
Mrs. Smithers is president of the foundation.
The Smithers Foundation 50th Anniversary Gala was co-chaired by New York Governor
George Pataki, Emmy winner Tony Randall, Sergio Vento, Italian Ambassador to the
United States, Ole Peter Kalby, Norwegian Ambassador to the United Nations,
Samuel Palmisano, Chairman/CEO of IBM Corporation, and Hunter M. Rawlings III,
President of Cornell University. Antonia M. Costa, the Executive Director of the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, delivered the keynote address.
Five distinguished physicians were recognized for their pioneering work in the alcoholism
field. They include LeClair Bissell, M.D., Stanley Gitlow, M.D., Charles Lieber, M.D.,
Max Schneider, M.D., and Michael H. Beaubrun, M.D., posthumously.
Read messages of support and best wishes from NY Governor George Pataki, and United States
Senators Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Visit the 50th Anniversary photo gallery!