The Thalians Presidents Club is a select and outstanding charity group made up of celebrities, industry, social and community leaders who pledge $1500 per year for a period of five years. Upon completion of the initial five year pledge, member’s names are inscribed on the Thalians Presidents club Honor Roll located on the plaza level of The Thalians Mental Health Center for all to see, in perpetuity. Membership can be maintained as an active member for $1000 a year thereafter. This will guarantee invitations to future Thalians Presidents Club events.
The Thalians was founded in 1955 by a group of young actors and allied professionals from the film industry who wanted to give back some of their blessings to the community. They met at actress Jayne Mansfield’s home to discuss how they could use their time, talent and energy to help children with mental health problems. Taking the name from Thalia, the Muse of Comedy and the Shepherdess of straying and lost lambs, the first Hollywood “celebrity” charity was born, and just four short years later, The Thalians Clinic for Emotionally Disturbed Children at Mt. Sinai Hospital was established.
When Mt. Sinai and Cedars of Lebanon merged, The Thalians pledged $1 million toward the construction of the first building on the new campus, which was named in their honor: The Thalians Mental Health Center.
Over the past 54 years, the group, long led by President Debbie Reynolds and Board Chair Ruta Lee, has raised over $30 million in support of the Center, which is world-renowned for its pioneering research and care. The number one priority is still children, but the Center treats pediatrics through geriatrics, for diseases ranging from Autism, Alzheimer’s, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia, to Phobias, Post Traumatic Stress, Depression, and Addictions.
Primary sources of fundraising are the annual Thalians Ball, which attracts standing room only crowds with its galaxy of stars and elaborate productions, and the Presidents Club, whose members mingle with celebrities and industry, civic, and community leaders at exclusive events.