Published On: Wed, Jan 20th, 2021

HanleyEffect Saves Lives Through The Lifesaver Scholarship Program

Turner Benoit and Jan Cairnes

While the addiction epidemic continues to be the leading cause of preventable death for Americans under the age of 55, Hanley Foundation is providing a lifeline through its Lifesaver Scholarship Program. The #HanleyEffect saves lives.

Boca Raton, FL – Since 1984, Hanley Foundation has been working to prevent substance use disorders; train professionals to identify the signs and symptoms; ensure individuals and families are not kept from recovery due to financial hardship; and change the conversation about substance use to one of understanding and empathy. The organization has made significant progress against an ever-growing challenge. This is the #HanleyEffect.

“At Hanley Foundation, we Educate, Change Minds and Save Lives,” said Jan Cairnes, CEO for Hanley Foundation. “The #HanleyEffect changes the odds, restores hope, heals families and creates opportunities for a lifetime in recovery.”

The Lifesaver Scholarship Program provides financial scholarships for those struggling with substance use disorders. The program functions as a collaboration between Hanley Foundation and more than 40 accredited high-quality treatment facilities across the United States. The program is funded through individual donors, foundations and corporations.

“Our unique approach matches each family’s need with philanthropy, increasing impact and enhancing value,” said Turner Benoit, Chief Development Officer. “On average, Hanley Foundation’s scholarship program has five times the impact of traditional scholarship giving.”

Justin S. and Cheryl R. are two Palm Beach County residents who are now in successful recovery thanks to the Lifesaver Scholarship Program.

“After more than a decade of struggling with addiction, I found myself homeless and hooked on drugs,” said Justin. “I was hopeless and penniless knowing I could die any day. I had overdosed six times in six weeks. Through the Hanley Foundation and my treatment facility, I was given another chance at life. I will be forever grateful.”

The Lifesaver Scholarship Program is an impactful, community-based effort that saves lives and restores families. Hanley Foundation is working to increase funding to be able to help all those in need.

“A lot of people who need recovery don’t have those dollars, so you’re saving lives by donating to Hanley Foundation,” said Kelly Rooney, Hanley Foundation Board Member. “When I read the gratitude letters from our Lifesaver Scholarship recipients, it brings me to tears. These individuals have lost so much due to their substance use disorders, and because of our generous donors, they are able to heal and rebuild their lives and dreams.” 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, overdose rates have increased by 40 percent in parts of the nation. The shelter-in-place orders necessitated by the pandemic have created dangerous ground for those walking the path of recovery. Social distancing, masks and staying at home block the bedrock of recovery: the high-touch support of in-person meetings and face-to-face communication.

“I was going down a dark, destructive and harmful path,” said Cheryl. “I tried several times to get sober on my own and was unsuccessful. My addiction got the best of me and took over my mind, body, heart and soul. If it wasn’t for Hanley Foundation, I wouldn’t feel as focused and positive towards my future. I will spread the word that there is hope and sobriety can be achieved. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. My sincerest gratitude to the Hanley Foundation for this opportunity, gift and second chance at life. For that, I am forever grateful.”

One of Hanley Foundation’s largest fundraising events, which raises critical dollars for the Lifesaver Scholarship Program, is the Palm Beach Dinner. Originally scheduled for January 21, 2021 at the Sailfish Club in Palm Beach and chaired by Judy and Fritz Van der Grift and Stacey Leuliette, the event has been postponed this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

“As someone who knows the profound grief of losing a close friend to a substance use disorder, I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the Lifesaver Scholarship program,” said Fritz Van der Grift, Hanley Foundation Board Member and 2021 Palm Beach Dinner Co-Chair. “It’s that gut-wrenching loss that drives me to help others in hopes that, one day, individuals and their families and friends won’t have to experience the devastating effects of substance use disorders.”

Even though Hanley Foundation will not hold its annual Palm Beach Dinner this season, they still need the support of the community to help raise funds for a truly lifesaving program.

Through experience and intimate knowledge of the treatment space, Hanley Foundation developed its scholarship program to be both financially sustainable and capable of helping as many people as possible. The program partners with facilities who are willing to accept scholarship patients from Hanley Foundation at a large discount, allowing the Lifesaver Scholarship Program to maximize the number of individuals served while remaining financially responsible.

“Your support allows Hanley Foundation to fulfill our most critical mission: to provide access to quality substance-use-disorder treatment to those who could not otherwise afford it,” said Benoit. “In partnership with our donors, we have helped more than 200 individuals and families in the last year alone begin their life in recovery through the Lifesaver Scholarship fund. While there are still many more people in need of our help, especially in the wake of the pandemic, we are immensely proud of the work we have accomplished. Our efforts are only as strong as our advocates and supporters.”

Substance use disorders are enormously complex issues that require solutions from a sophisticated organization with a well-rounded approach to create long-lasting change. Hanley Foundation does just that. This is the #HanleyEffect.

 “The Hanley Foundation is a leading force in the fight against substance use disorders and treatment efforts,” said Stacey Leuliette, Hanley Foundation Board Member and 2021 Palm Beach Dinner Co-Chair. “In a year when the need for their services and programs is greater than ever, I am honored to be a part of the team fighting for change. When an individual goes through a difficult season and comes out on the other side, they have two choices: One is to shut the door and never look back; the other is to GIVE back and help others to try and make a difference. I choose the latter. As a grateful recovering alcoholic, it is not only my duty to be a part of these efforts, but it is my hope that the work we do will change the fear and stigma surrounding those struggling with addiction and save lives.”

To be a part of the #HanleyEffect or to make a donation to the Lifesaver Scholarship Program, please call 561.268.2355, visit or email Turner Benoit at [email protected].

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