For the past 43 years, Adele C. Smithers has devoted herself to the field of alcohol use disorder. Recently, Mrs. Smithers received the Pioneer Award of the International Council for Caring Communities at the United Nations and the first Maude Adams Award from The Ronkonkoma Cenacle, New York, on the occasion of its 75th Anniversary.
Mrs. Smithers is an activist for creating greater understanding of alcohol use disorder as a respectable and treatable disease from which individuals can and do recover. She is Chairman of the Board of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence-Tampa; Vice Chairman of the Alcoholism Council of New York and Vice Chair of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; member of the Board of directors of the Employment Program for Recovered Alcoholics (EPRA); Glen Head North Shore Youth Council; the William Edwin Hall Foundation in Tucson, AZ and 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, N.Y and was a Director of the Family Service Association of Nassau County for eleven years. In November of 2001 Mrs. Smithers was elected to serve a three-year term as Honorary Director of Recovery Resources, Cleveland, Ohio.
The Town of Oyster Bay, New York, named Mrs. Smithers “Humanitarian Woman of Distinction” for the year 2000. In the same year, she received an award from the American Society of Addiction Medicine “in recognition and gratitude for her personal endeavors to create a better public understanding of alcohol use disorder as a treatable disease and for continuing the vision of her late husband, R. Brinkley Smithers.” She was recipient of the first President’s Award from the New York State Drinking Driver Program Directors Association in 1995; received the Bowery Resident’s Committee Human Services Corporation’s Award in 1995; the Butterfly Award from Wayside House, Florida; the Peter Fairclough Memorial Recognition Award from the Comprehensive Alcoholism Rehabilitation Program, Florida; the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Service to Youth Award in 1996; was among the first distinguished alumni to be inducted into the Washington Irving High School Hall of Achievement, New York City, received the Laura Persons Pratt Award from the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, New York in 1998. In 2002 on National Philanthropy Day, she received an award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater New York Chapter as one of New York’s finest philanthropists.
Many distinguished groups have recently honored Mrs. Smithers, including the Ronkonkoma Cenacle, Veritas Villa; Portledge School; the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; the Family Services Association of Nassau County; the Palm Beach Chapter of the Children’s Home Society, Florida; the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; and the Comprehensive Alcoholism Rehabilitation Program, Inc in Florida.
Mrs. Smithers was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As a result, she became interested in and supported the innovative program that Dr. Enrico Fazzini initiated at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York Institute of Technology, at Long Island University and in 1998 the Adele Smithers Parkinson’s Disease Center, the first Center on Long Island dedicated to research and specialized treatment for the disease was named in her honor. In 1999 Mrs. Smithers received a Certificate of Appreciation from The Nassau County Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association.
Active in many community and charitable organizations, Mrs. Smithers is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club, Locust Valley, NY; founder 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 a member of the Board of the Humane Society of New York.