Palm Beach Atlantic University will honor Joyce Sang and Sally Soter as Women of Distinction 2012 at a luncheon Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 at The Breakers, Palm Beach. A pre-luncheon reception begins at 11:15 a.m.; the luncheon follows at Noon.
Tickets, at $150 each or tables of 10 for $1,500, may be obtained from the Palm Beach Atlantic University Development Office by calling 561-803-2971. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit a scholarship fund for deserving female students at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Joyce Licht Sang founded The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation with her husband, Dusty, after their only child, Ryan, passed away from bipolar disorder in 2004 at the age of 24. The couple has strong connections to Palm Beach as they were married at The Breakers 33 years ago, and Ryan was born and raised on the island, having attended Palm Beach Day School.
In response to the loss of her son, Sang chose to devote her life to changing the course of the effect of bipolar disorder on other families. From its earliest days, The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation established a clear mission to foster awareness, understanding and research for early-onset bipolar disorder and to support research in the Foundation’s “Quest For The Test™” to find an empirical, biomarker test for bipolar disorder leading to early detection and intervention.
Working with the great scientists and universities in the bipolar disorder field, the Foundation has made “Quest For The Test™” awards to support leading-edge research in bioinformatics and human genetics; in the genetic linkages between parents with bipolar disorder and their children; and in the use of resting state functional MRIs to predict bipolar disorder. The Foundation also has co-sponsored the annual Pediatric Bipolar Disorder Conferences with Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard for the past five years.
Recently, the Foundation established an educational initiative and underwrites the Johns Hopkins' Adolescent Depression Awareness Program that teaches high school students, parents and teachers to recognize bipolar disorder and depression. In August, the Foundation brought this program to schools in Palm Beach County and, in October, to high schools in Chicago.
Over the past 30 years, Sang has been at the forefront of many non-profit organizations or their activities, including the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Children’s Home Society, Florida House, and the Hospitality Committee for United Nations Delegations. She presently serves on two committees of the National Institute of Mental Health, and with her husband, has received the Bascom Palmer People of Vision Award, the Hermes Humanitarian Award, the Palm Beach Chamber Community Service Award and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Mogens Schou Award for Public Service. She also is a founding member of the Massachusetts General Hospital Leadership Council for Psychiatry and a member of the Advisory Council at the Stone Institute of Psychiatry, Northwestern Memorial.
Joyce and Dusty Sang were full time residents of Palm Beach for more than 25 years and now divide their time between Palm Beach and Chicago.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Sally Ross Soter had dedicated her efforts to encouraging the arts and promoting access to healthcare for women. In the Palm Beaches, Soter holds leadership roles in two community arts organizations. She has been actively involved at The Norton Museum of Art for more than 15 years in various leadership and committee roles. Presently she chairs the photography committee and serves on the governance and development and capital campaign committees. As a former trustee and president of the board, she now is a member of The Diana Society, which honors past trustees.
During her term as president in 2008, The Norton was awarded the prestigious Medal of Arts by the National Museums and Library Services in Washington, D.C. This award, presented at the White House by First Lady Laura Bush, recognized The Norton’s community neighborhood outreach programs, especially the after-school program PACE, the School Partnership and the Intern Program. With her husband, William J. Soter, she established the William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography Chair. The Soters also established an endowment of photography, which supports special exhibitions, scholarship opportunities and educational programs at The Norton.
She also serves on the board of trustees for The Society of the Four Arts and is a member of the library committee. She is co-chairman of the Faith in Act committee at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Church in Palm Beach.
In Ohio, her community support activities have focused on healthcare. Presently, she serves as a member of the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital Board of Trustees and the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Advisory Council, both at The Ohio State University Medical Center. There, she established The Sarah Ross Soter Endowed Chair in Women’s Cardiovascular Health, which is the first fully endowed chair exclusively for the purpose of women’s heart health in the United States. In addition, she formed The Ohio State University Women’s Cardiovascular Health Advisory Council, which educates women about the prevention of heart disease. In 2008, she was honored with the Annual John B. Gerlach, Sr. Development Volunteer Award for her service as a member of The Ohio State University Hospital Board of Trustees, the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital Board of Trustees and the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Advisory Council as well as her co-chairmanship of the $500 million medical center campaign.
The Columbus Art Museum, in recognition for her service on the board and as chairman of the museum ball for two years, has appointed her an honorary trustee. Soter and her husband established The William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography at the museum.
The Soters have four children and eleven grandchildren. Their primary residence is in Palm Beach and their summer home is in Harbor Springs, Mich.