The Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) has announced its annual gala, An Evening of Inspiration, will take place Thursday, April 30th at the Scarsdale Golf Club. The evening will honor individuals who have made significant contributions to WIHD’s mission of improving the lives of people with disabilities and vulnerable children. The honorees are Kevin J. Plunkett of Tarrytown and the Klein family of Pleasantville.
“We are delighted to celebrate this year’s Annual Gala with such distinguished honorees. Kevin Plunkett and the Klein family have each made huge impacts in their communities and have helped advance our mission of helping individuals with developmental disabilities and vulnerable children,” said Dr. Susan Fox, President & CEO, WIHD.
Kevin J. Plunkett is Director of Strategic Initiatives for Simone Development Companies, a full service real estate development company. He has a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sectors, having served as Deputy County Executive of Westchester from 2010-2018. Mr. Plunkett, who has practiced law for more than three decades, began his law career in 1975 as an Assistant District Attorney for Westchester County. He later joined the law firm of Plunkett & Jaffe where he was an equity member of the firm for more than 20 years. He later became a partner in the international law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood from 2000 to 2008. Prior to becoming Deputy County Executive, he was a partner in the regional law firm of DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise and Wiederkehr. Throughout his law career, Mr. Plunkett has represented numerous governmental entities including the City of Rye and the Villages of Tarrytown, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry and Mamaroneck. He is a former board member of the New York State Thruway Authority/Canal Corporation, Taconic State Park Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission, New York League of Conservation Voters and the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River. He served on four Governor Judicial Screening committees from 1997 to 2017. Well known in Westchester’s business and not-for-profit community, Mr. Plunkett is currently on the board of Tompkins Mahopac Bank. He has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit and educational institutions including ArtsWestchester, Westchester ARC Foundation and Iona College. He is a life-long resident of Tarrytown.
The Klein Family, which has been named WIHD’s 2020 Mission Family, has lived in Pleasantville for the past 30 years. Their four sons are Riley, Tucker, Griffin and Brendan. Riley, 29, is an employment specialist with his own practice called JOBSYNC in the Denver area, supporting individuals with disabilities seeking integrated employment. Tucker, 27, is a Lead Animator for an international design studio called Buck. Griffin, 25, is the Director of Digital Building Surveys at a Manhattan based firm called measure up. Last but certainly not least Brendan, 25 and Griffin’s twin, is the Youth Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for WIHD. Brendan creates community based social opportunities for his peers with disabilities by using Facebook Groups. He is also currently the President of the Hear Our Voices self-advocates group at WIHD. Community service, and paying it forward, has always been part of the Klein Family’s mission. Russ has been the Chairman of the Pleasantville Planning Commission for over 10 years. Tara was co-founder of the Pleasantville SEPTA over 12 years ago. They are both active in multiple community-based initiatives to support sustainability and help others: Pleasantville Community Garden, Pleasantville Repair Café, NYS Climate Smart Communities and more. All of their children have participated on some level in many of these efforts. Recently, much of the family’s community service work has revolved around the outreach that Brendan coordinates through the social groups at WIHD. This work is made possible through a generous grant from the Taft Family Foundation. Last spring, Brendan partnered with the WIHD Child Welfare Program to revive the Children’s Garden on the Medical Center Campus. This effort was funded by a grant from the Pleasantville Community Garden and St John’s Episcopal Church. Brendan and Russ made a bench for the garden from reclaimed wood and carved the name Adam’s Garden into, dedicating it to young Adam Brickel.
All proceeds from the Gala will go directly to WIHD’s programs. To purchase tickets or tables, please visit www.wihd.org