Mrs. Adele C. Smithers, (1933-2017) was Chairman of The Christopher D. Smithers Foundation and devoted herself to the field of alcohol use disorder since joining the National Council on Alcoholism in 1960. Mrs. Smithers was an activist for creating greater understanding of alcohol use disorder as a respectable and treatable disease from which individuals can and do recover.
Following the death of her husband, R. Brinkley Smithers, in 1994, Mrs. Smithers carried on the groundbreaking work of The Christopher D. Smithers Foundation founded by him to support alcohol use disorder education, research and treatment.
Outspoken when necessary, always compassionate and always a fierce advocate for the cause, she has been dubbed “the real godmother of the new style of philanthropy” (“muscular style”) by The New York Times for her precedent setting work on behalf of charitable donors. Mrs. Smithers has also been dubbed the “godmother” of research, education, prevention and recovery in the alcohol use disorder and dependence fields.
Mrs. Smithers was nominated to the Board of OCCAM (The Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication). She was past chair of the Board of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, founding Chairman Emeritus of NCADD Tampa; Chairman of the Alcoholism Council of New York and Vice Chair of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; Honorary Board of Directors Member of NCADD/Westchester; member of the Board of Directors of the Employment Program for Recovered Alcoholics (EPRA), North Shore Boys & Girls Club, the William Edwin Hall Foundation, Tucson, AZ; Council Member of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Vice President of the National Board of The National Institute of Social Sciences, NY; Trustee of Portledge School, Locust Valley, NY and was a Director of the Family Service Association of Nassau County for eleven years. Mrs. Smithers is an Honorary Director of Recovery Resources, Cleveland, OH.
She was a member of the Board of Overseers of the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club, Locust Valley, NY; Founding Member of the Palm Beach Guild for the Children’s Home Society in West Palm Beach, FL; member of the Advisory Board of Gratitude House, West Palm Beach, FL; Patron of the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League of the Palm Beaches and is a member of the President’s Advisory Board of the Humane Society of New York.
Additionally, she worked and supported the innovative Parkinson’s Disease Program at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of New York Institute of Technology and in 1998 the Adele Smithers Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Center was named in her honor. She was also recognized by The Nassau County Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association for her contributions.
Mrs. Adele C. Smithers was invited to be a member of the Biltmore Who’s Who. She is an Honored Lifetime Member.
She served in the United States Air Force from 1951-1954 attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant.