Inspiring Hope Dinner

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Event Postponed

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, 1111 Ritz-Carlton Drive, Sarasota
numerous sponsorships available

This inspirational evening features three celebrity speakers who will be recognized for their mental health advocacy and achievements:

    • Steve Ford: The actor and son of former President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford will discuss his struggles with addiction and depression.
    • Kathy Cronkite: The author and daughter of broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite will share personal stories of her battle with depression.
    • Ron Suskind: The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker and “Life, Animated” author will share his family’s 20-year journey raising and connecting to their autistic son, and their fight to find the help and resources he needed.

Ford and Cronkite will each be honored with the Lee and Bob Peterson Luminary Award while Suskind will receive the Lee and Bob Peterson Advocacy Award.

The Legacy Award, presented to a local individual who has helped to bring mental health to the forefront in the Sarasota community, will be given to the Seidensticker family in honor of their late father, Steve.

Steve Ford

Steve Ford

Steve Ford, actor, mental health advocate and son of former President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford

Kathy Cronkite

Kathy Cronkite

Kathy Cronkite, mental health advocate, author and daughter of broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite

Ron Suskind

Ron Suskind

Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Wall Street Journal and author of “Life Animated”

Tarra Conner Jones


Tarra Conner jones, a frequent performer with Sarasota’s Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, is renowned for her powerhouse voice and captivating presence. She has amassed numerous theatre credits as well as created and performed an original cabaret show, “Here is Love.”

Guests will have the opportunity to participate in the raffle – the prize is a custom-made “Hope Chest” filled with wine, spirits and gift certificates. There will also be a silent auction for a two-night stay at the New York Members Yacht Club.

Hope Chest