Press Releases

Caron D.C. Region Hosts 7th Annual Gala to Benefit Treatment Scholarships at Caron

Honoring Ed and Cathy Gillespie with the Richard J. Caron Award of Excellence, featuring Elizabeth Vargas as the Keynote Speaker and a performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Admiral James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld, Jr. U.S. Navy (Retired) and his wife, Mary, will share their personal story. Congressmen Glenn Thompson (PA) and Lacy Clay (MO) will attend.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Caron’s Washington, D.C. recovery center is expected to raise $500,000 to help families access addiction treatment at its 7th annual gala. A significant portion of funds raised will provide treatment scholarships to individuals from Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region. More than 300 guests are expected to attend the Gala held at Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City on October 9, 2018. Ed and Cathy Gillespie will be honored with the Richard J. Caron Award of Excellence.

“We are thrilled to honor such extraordinary individuals at this year’s gala,” said Doug Tieman, Caron’s President and CEO. “Ed and Cathy are tireless advocates around so many facets of addiction from policy reform, to supporting access to quality treatment to regularly sharing their personal story of family recovery.”

Last year, with the help of donors in Washington, D.C.and nationwide, Caron provided nearly $10 million in treatment scholarships to individuals suffering from substance use disorders and their families. A portion of that financial assistance supports individuals from the greater Washington, D.C. region to receive treatment at Caron Pennsylvania or Caron Renaissance in South Florida.

Caron D.C. offers monthly alumni group meetings, weekly parent support groups in Maryland and Virginia, educational workshops, a young adult recovery network, prevention programs in schools, and various recovery related events all year long. Caron has nearly 8,000 alumni and family members living in the greater D.C. region individuals.

Ed and Cathy Gillespie will receive the Richard J. Caron Award of Excellence for their ongoing commitment to government and community service. Addiction, recovery and mental health are issues the Gillespies hold close to their hearts. Cathy is in long-term recovery, having recently celebrated 10 years. As part of their advocacy efforts, they have supported Caron’s mission for more than seven years. Ed has been a voice for policy reform in the area of addiction and recovery, having put forward innovative proposals that have had a positive effect on the national and statewide debate on the issue. Both visit recovery centers and share their stories and support with those who suffer, and whose family members suffer, from the disease of addiction.

Ed is a former national and state party chair, White House counselor to President George W. Bush, top congressional aide, and Republican nominee for both the U.S. Senate and Governor in his home state of Virginia.

Cathy is a former Congressional Chief of Staff, member of the Presidents Commission on White House Fellows, and currently co-chairs the nonpartisan educational foundation Constituting America and serves on the U.S. SemiQuinCentennial Commission, which is planning our country’s 250th birthday celebration.

The Gillespies have been active in their communities, with Ed coaching Little League and Junior CYO sports teams and Cathy serving on the board of Good Shepherd Housing. Ed has also served on the Catholic University of America’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on the board of America’s Kids Belong, an organization dedicated to promoting foster care and adoption.

Ed and Cathy met in 1985 on a Capitol Hill softball field. They were married in 1987 and have three grown children. The Gillespies live near historic Mount Vernon, in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Emmy Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas is the author of "Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction" released in 2016. She most recently co-hosted the hit newsmagazine show "20/20" and previously served as co-anchor of "World News Tonight," anchor of "World News Tonight Sunday," news anchor and frequent co-host on "Good Morning America," correspondent for "20/20" and "Primetime Thursday," and was the co-anchor of "Primetime Monday." In 2018, Vargas signed an overall first-look development and production deal with A+E Networks and became the face of A&E Investigates, the network’s new nonfiction primetime journalistic banner.

Admiral James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld, Jr. U.S. Navy (Retired) and Mary Winnefeld are Co-Founders/Co-Chairs of S.A.F.E. Project U.S. In late 2017, Admiral Winnefeld and his wife, Mary lost their youngest son, Jonathon to a drug overdose after a long struggle with addiction. Jonathon’s journey, marked by a recovery that enabled him to enroll into college a few days before his death, inspired the Winnefeld family to launch the national non-profit, S.A.F.E. Project US (Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic). S.A.F.E. is committed to contributing in a tangible way to overcoming the overdose epidemic in the U.S.

Admiral Winnefeld served 37 years in the U.S. Navy, most recently as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Admiral Winnefeld is a published author and director and advisory board member for several companies. He currently serves as Distinguished Professor at Georgia Tech, where he is also a member of the Engineering Hall of Fame. He is on the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy, and a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Ms. Winnefeld serves on the board of directors for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Cohen Veterans Network, USO Metropolitan Washington and as an Ambassador for the Tragedy Assistance for Survivors (TAPS). Mary is also the recipient of both the Department of Defense and Department of the Navy Meritorious Public Service Award.

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C. sings to inspire equality and inclusion with musical performances and education promoting justice and dignity for all. Rock Creek Singers is a 28-member chamber music ensemble that is a select outreach ensemble of the Gay Men’s Chorus. Rock Creek Singers keeps a busy schedule with over 40 outreach performances a year as well as performances in the Gay Men’s Chorus season concerts.

The Gala co-chairs are Christina Caron and Mark Skibbie. The Gala Steering Committee includes Anne Banville, Kim Bross, Lawrence Calvert, Peter Fenn, Lisa Harwood, Roger Hoff, Megan Madigan, Sarah McDade, Cliff Mendelson, Michael Moore, Lisa Ourisman, Samir Singh, Don Sloane and Marianne Wyble

Caron Treatment Centers
With 60 years in the field, Caron Treatment Centers operates lifesaving addiction and behavioral healthcare treatment. Caron is headquartered in Wernersville, Pennsylvania with Ocean Drive and Caron Renaissance located in Palm Beach County, Florida. Caron has recovery centers in New England, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., which offer community and recovery support. Caron’s Recovery Centers in Atlanta and New York City also offer pre- and post-treatment services. Caron has the most extensive continuum of care including teens, and adults, chronic pain, executives, healthcare professionals and legal professionals. Caron’s outcomes-driven treatment care plans are customized to meet the needs of individuals and families – with highly trained teams prepared to address co-occurring disorders. Caron offers an innovative approach to ongoing recovery care support for its former patients and their families with online peer groups and other resources during the first year of transition following discharge. For more information on Caron, please visit Caron at or follow us on Twitter @CaronTreatment.

Media Contacts

Kristin Campbell-Salamone

Corporate Director of PR & Communications, Caron
215-292-5526 |

Katie Kennedy
Senior Vice President, Gregory FCA

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