22 Feb Donor Profile: Andrea and Michael Leeds
North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center is dedicated to providing the highest quality services in order to restore and strengthen the emotional well-being of children and their families.
Joining us in this lifesaving mission are two of our most devoted and active supporters, Andrea and Michael Leeds.
“It’s been a privilege to be part of the Guidance Center,” says Andrea, who has been an invaluable member of our Board of Directors for more than two decades. “The Guidance Center’s programs continue to grow to meet the needs of children dealing with difficult personal issues like depression, anxiety, bullying and so many others. The mission is more important now than ever during the COVID crisis, with illness, death and trauma having a devastating impact on the children and families in our community.”
All in the Family
The Leeds family’s connection to the Guidance Center has a long history. Andrea was introduced to the Guidance Center by her mother-in-law, Lilo Leeds, a Board Member for many years. In recognition of the family’s remarkable intergenerational support, in 2007 we named our Westbury location “The Leeds Place—Serving Young People.”
As philanthropists, Andrea and Michael have assumed many leadership roles. They have co-chaired seven galas and served as co-honorees for our 65th Anniversary Gala in 2018, which raised a record-breaking $622,000 to support our lifesaving work.
Andrea has proudly served on many Guidance Center committees, including Steering & Development. She and Michael hosted a special evening in their home, where therapist Linda Silversmith led the discussion as grandparents shared stories and gained insight on the importance of their role in the American family.
Andrea and Board Member Jo-Ellen Hazan also co-chaired a memorable dinner where Mary Tyler Moore spoke about her life to a large and appreciative crowd. The event created awareness and raised funds to support the important work of the Guidance Center’s then-new Lucille S. and Martin E. Kantor Bereavement & Trauma Center.
Through these events, the Leeds have introduced our mission to many of their wonderful friends, with several becoming Board members themselves or serving in other vital positions.
“It’s a joy to be able to give back to the community,” says Andrea. “When you are personally involved, you receive so much more than you give.” When their daughters were young, Andrea played an active role in their school, synagogue and many other organizations, while Mike headed up publishing giant CMP Media.
“I love how the Guidance Center has provided an ever-evolving range of innovative services for children and their families—and they do so regardless of the family’s ability to pay,” says Andrea. “The new Douglas S. Feldman Suicide Prevention Project is a prime example of how the Guidance Center recognizes a need and jumps right in to make a difference.”
Adds Michael, “It’s been inspiring to see how the Guidance Center has responded so quickly to the COVID-19 crisis, pivoting from in-person therapy to telehealth so every child and family gets the help they need during this incredibly difficult time.”
Big Hearts and Boundless Energy
Andrea and Michael are very proud of their wonderful family: twin daughters Caryn and Lauren, Tracy, son-in-law Nick and grandson Samuel. While the family is now bicoastal, they spend as much time together as possible.
“When I walk through the doors of the Guidance Center and look at the parents, I totally relate,” says Andrea. “As the mother of three girls, I understand a child in pain. I understand the relief a family can feel when treatment is helping to sort out complex, emotional situations.”
According to past Board President and current Board Member Nancy Lane, the Leeds’ compassion for others is what sets them apart.
“Both Andrea and Michael have big hearts and boundless energy, and they continue to be passionate advocates for the mental health of children and families in our community,” says Lane. “Having such a dynamic couple as part of our Guidance Center family is a real blessing.”
To learn more about supporting North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, contact Director of Development Lauren McGowan at (516) 626-1971, ext. 320.