Caron Music Award
Named for Thomas Moran

John Greed addresses the gathering. (Photos by Samantha Nandez and Vladimir Weinstein, BFA.com).

By Mary Gallagher, Assistant Editor
August / September 2019

Caron Treatment Centers’ annual NYC gala.


Caron Treatment Centers, an addiction recovery center, hosted its annual NYC gala dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 8, 2019, and renamed its prestigious music award for the late Thomas J. Moran, business leader, philanthropist, and much-loved member of the Irish-American community, who passed away in August 2018.

“Tom was a dedicated philanthropist; he was a beautiful guy,” Caron’s CEO Doug Tieman remembered. “He was dedicated to helping those who were suffering or in pain. He would come and visit patients, talk with them, and pray with them on Caron’s Family Sunday.”

The tributes to Tom, who in life served as chairman and CEO of Mutual of America and chairman of the relief organization Concern Worldwide U.S., continued throughout the night. John Greed, CEO of Mutual of America and Tom’s close friend, said: “Those of us fortunate enough to have known Tom and work closely with him, as I was for 25 years at Mutual of America, fondly remember his wisdom, his integrity, his compassion, his caring nature, his engaging personality, his great sense of humor, and most of all, his incredible love of music.”

Joan Moran, Tom’s widow, pictured with Michael McDonald, who received the Thomas J. Moran Music Award.

Joan Moran, Tom’s widow, pictured with Michael McDonald, who received the Thomas J. Moran Music Award.

Michael McDonald, chair of the musicians’ support foundation MusiCares, received the award renamed for Tom.

McDonald spoke about his family’s experience with addiction. “As the child and grandchild of alcoholics, there was a good chance that I would also end up one,” he said. “What has allowed me to persevere are the other traits that I’ve inherited: pride, a sense of humor, diligence, and a strong moral backbone. As a kid I saw my mother make an unpopular choice in the 1970s, especially in our Catholic community – she kicked my alcoholic dad out, and she was judged harshly for it. She chose a braver course in life so that her children would thrive.”

A video message, from when Tom himself was honored with the Caron Music Award in 2012, left those gathered with a stirring message from him: “Everyone of us has a responsibility to care enough about people to make sure the right things are done,” he said, “I’m not a rescue worker, yet I can rescue. I’m not a preacher, yet maybe I can save a soul,” he said from the screen.

The gala raised more than $1.5 million for patients in need who have limited resources. ♦

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