Last updated June 2013.

Life Member LogoOn May 10th, 2013, nearly one hundred and twenty AACAP leaders, members and staff gathered at the Academy's national headquarters to celebrate the long and successful career of our retired Executive Director, Virginia "Ginger" Anthony.

The evening began at 5:30 pm, as guests arrived to an office transformed for the celebration. With multiple open bars, buffets and traveling hors d'oeuvres, the crème de la crème of past, present and future presidents, leadership, donors and friends mingled beside a veiled portrait of AACAP's first executive director. The observant in the crowd would spot a prominently placed plaque identifying the reception area as the "Virginia Q. Anthony Lobby."

The event program, decorated with an early incarnation of the portrait, gave special thanks to J. Michael Houston, M.D.; Chris Kratochvil, M.D.; Alice Mao, M.D.; and Gabrielle Shapiro, M.D. for their generous financial contributions to creating a successful evening.

The day had already been a long and very productive one for many of the guests who arrived to help celebrate Ginger's 39 years of leadership. That morning and afternoon AACAP's Government Affairs department hosted Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Many in attendance arrived by charter bus straight from their meetings with congressional staffers to discuss the importance of mental health research and treatment for our nation's children and adolescents.

At 6:15, AACAP President Marty Drell, M.D. gave his welcoming remarks to the crowd gathered in the lobby and listening upstairs, reminding us all of how Ginger had worked with twenty one Academy Presidents to grow the organization from its humble beginnings to the vibrant and important institution it is today. He recounted her often told anecdote of how working with all the different academy leaders had been like earning a new master's degree in business every two years; and remarked at how each of those academy leaders had in turn learned a great deal from watching Ginger steer AACAP to success.

Then with the help of Deputy Director of Development, Alan Ezagui, and Director of Meetings & CME, Jill Brafford, Dr. Drell unveiled the lush and lifelike portrait of Ginger, painted in oils by famed portraitist Cedric Egeli. The crowd all agreed that it captured Ginger's playfulness and vitality, as well as doing credit to her determination and presence.

Ginger was very gracious and funny in her acknowledgements; thanking many people by name and telling stories about her favorite times at the Academy. She was joined by a number of family members, including her husband, and past AACAP President, James Anthony, and her brother. She paid special tribute to four outstanding staff members: Jean Dejarnette, Mary Crosby, Kristin Kroeger Ptatoswski and Heidi Fordi. She also expressed her love to her brother and sister, her son Justin Bausch, and his family, Elizabeth, William and Quinn.

Executive Director Heidi Fordi presented Ginger with a Memory Book, full of dedications and well wishes from her former staff and Academy colleagues, before offering a toast to Ginger and opening the floor to guests to express their sentiments as well. A number of attendees accepted the opportunity, regaling Ginger with their heartfelt tributes and praise for a long and treasured career.

At everyone's insistence, Ginger posed for much of the rest of the party with friends and family for pictures in front of her portrait, allowing her fans to document the evening and create photographic keepsakes of their time with her.

Finally as the evening wore on, and nearly all the red velvet cupcakes had been eaten for dessert, Ginger returned home with her husband James, still cheerful and wise at age 97; and the guests returned home and to their hotels, newly reminded of how glad they are to have worked with Ginger, and to call her their friend.