Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Hobbs Society Donors Honored by Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Leadership Council thanked members of the Nicholas Hobbs Donor Society at a reception on May 9 at the home of Donna Eskind and Dr. Jeff Eskind.

The generosity of Hobbs Society donors supports innovative research on the causes and treatments of disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, and other genetic syndromes.

Donna Eskind, Leadership Council chair, opened the evening’s program. Shirley Speyer, chair of the Hobbs Society, thanked members whose gifts support Hobbs Discovery Grants. Promising findings from these innovative “seed” grants help researchers obtain federal grants for larger studies.

Dr. Jeff Balser, Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, thanked Hobbs Society members for their important role in supporting scientific discoveries.

Jessica Young, whose 2-year-old son Chance has been diagnosed with autism, shared her concerns about his developmental delays that led to the autism diagnosis and the help that she and Chance are receiving through research programs of the VKC Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD).

“I don’t know if my son will be independent when he grows up,” Young said. “I do know that having programs like the ones at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and keeping him in therapy are key. My wish is no different than any other mother--to belong, to love, to be loved and to be understood. I see the struggles that lie ahead, but I know that there will be triumphs as well.”

Dr. Elisabeth Dykens, Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair and Director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, summarized the innovative research being undertaken by the 2012 Hobbs Discovery Grant recipients, who were introduced. She thanked the many Hobbs Society members who fund ground-breaking science that over time may lead to improvements in the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and their families.

Hobbs Society Reception, May 9, 2012

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Leadership Council thanked members of the Nicholas Hobbs Donor Society at a reception on May 9 at the home of Donna Eskind and Dr. Jeff Eskind. The generosity of Hobbs Society donors supports innovative research on the causes and treatments of disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, and other genetic syndromes. Photos by Tommy Lawson.

See Also...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Links

  • Nicholas Hobbs Donor Society
    The Nicholas Hobbs Society recognizes the exceptional position of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center as a leader in unlocking the mysteries of development and learning. Through gifts and volunteer resources, Nicholas Hobbs Society members advance groundbreaking research in human development.
  • Leadership Council
    Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Leadership Council members serve as community champions on behalf of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Council members ensure the Center's success by providing input regarding community needs and concerns.