We couldn’t be more grateful for the generous support shown by so many for our Seasons of Love Gala on February 13, 2021. The event was a wonderful success, exceeding our expectations in every possible way. Although we gathered virtually, it truly felt as if we had spent a spectacular evening together with our guests – laughing, crying, and being inspired by the powerful mission of inclusion. A very special thank you to all involved who extended a measure of love to our children and families, and for the powerful gift of inclusion that you are bringing to the world!
Gala Recap Video
We would like to thank J.K. Simmons for lending his extraordinary talent and time to this event, to our Badass Woman of Inspiration honoree, Ali Stroker, and to ALL of the wonderful actors, dancers, comediennes, magicians, Shane’s Youth Choir, and the families for sharing their deeply moving family stories – all of whom can be seen in the recording of the program of this beautiful and entertaining evening. You can watch our 5-minute recap video below.
Special thanks to our editor, Sean B. Simmons.
Gala Program Journal
Be inspired by our honoree and champions, learn about our impactful programs, and raise a toast of gratitude to our generous sponsors and volunteers!
Special thanks to our graphic artist, Joe Dunn. (Click on the square on the bottom right to view full screen.)
Huge Thanks to our Host & Honoree
J.K. Simmons – Host
We were honored to have the amazing J.K. Simmons as the host of our program. He is an Academy Award-winning actor (Whiplash), but audiences also know him from his roles as Dr. Emil Skoda on Law & Order, Vernon Schillinger on Oz, and Will Pope on The Closer. J.K. performed at our Carnegie Hall Benefit in NYC. J.K.’s talented wife, actress, producer, director, Michelle Schumacher, and their children Olivia and Joe are all longtime supporters of Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration. We are so grateful to this very special family.
Honoring Ali Stroker – Badass Woman of Inspiration
Groundbreaking performer Ali Stroker embodies the drive, optimism, talent and passion of a woman who CAN do. Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration was thrilled to honor all that she has accomplished. Ali made history as the first actress in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway when she originated the role of Anna in Deaf West’s acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening. In 2019, she became the first actor in a wheelchair to win a Tony Award for her turn as Ado Annie in the widely celebrated revival of Oklahoma! Ali also gave a star performance in our benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in 2018. Above and beyond a wildly successful career, Ali is a role-model, humanitarian, and advocate who lives by the motto: “Turning Your Limitations into Your Opportunities.” We are grateful to our badass honoree for shining a powerful light on what can be done!
Our Special Celebrity Guests
J.K. Simmons, Ali Stroker, Aimee Garcia, Amy Schumer, Andy Garcia, Bill Fagerbakke, Bob Odenkirk, Brian Dietzen, D.B. Woodside, Danny Pino, Dmitry Chaplin, Garcelle Beauvais, Hank Azaria, Jenya Chaplin, JJ Feild, Jon Hamm, Kevin Pollak, Maria Canals-Barrera, Neve Campbell, Nestor Carbonell, Patrick Dempsey, Rob Benedict, Sherri Shepherd, Steve Valentine
Our Sincere Thanks to our Generous Sponsors
Please click on the links below to visit our sponsors’ websites.
Special Thanks to our Extraordinary Gala Committee
Georgianna Junco-Kelman – Gala Chair
Valerie Hambas Sarkissian
Lori Vogelsang Demarest
Gala Full Video
Did you miss our Seasons of Love Gala? Enjoy the full video of our program and highlights from our Interactive Cocktail Hour. Running time is 70 minutes.