The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc. (CARD), the world's largest autism treatment center, announces success with its 20th Anniversary Gala, celebrating 20 years of leading the way in the effective treatment of autism. The event, benefiting ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today), was held on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at the legendary Park Plaza Hotel, 607 S. Park View Street, in Los Angeles.
One in 110 children is diagnosed with autism in America. The neurological disorder is more prevalent than pediatric cancer, juvenile diabetes and AIDS combined. "Autism is a global issue that challenges the very fiber of humanity," says Grammy winner Macy Gray, who performed a mini-concert at the gala's post party. "As a mother and artist, I support families and communities struggling to secure treatment while preserving dignity. I support CARD and ACT Today! for making therapies available to those who lack the financial means."
"This star-studded, charity event drew 500 supporters including community leaders, leading autism researchers and therapists from around the nation, children who have recovered from autism through CARD's treatment programs; as well as celebrities from film, television, and sports," says Event Producer Daphne Plump.
Guests who walked the red carpet included: Macy Gray (Grammy-winning artist), Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh (world-renowned autism expert), Emmy winner Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife"), Actor Max Burkholder (Emmy-nominated show "Parenthood"), Dr. Jim Sears ("The Doctors" talk show), Tila Tequila (reality star), actress Ariel Winters ("Modern Family), Kyle Massey ("Dancing With the Stars"), actress Lorraine Toussaint ("Saving Grace"), actor Barry Shabaka Henley ("Flash Forward), Taylor Armstrong ("Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Won-G (International Rap Artist), actor C.S. Lee ("Dexter"), Janna (recovered from autism), Brett (recovered from autism), 2 U Neek (Disney stars), The Miracle Project kids ("Autism: the Miracle"), as well as experts in the field of autism.
Featured at the Gala event are a silent auction and reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by a dinner program with special tribute to Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh for her illustrious career in the field of autism, which spans over 30 years. A post dinner party followed with a mini-concert by Macy Gray and live entertainment provided by DJ Crash.
"When I began my career, in the mid-80's, the incidence rate of autism was 1 in 10,000. Today, it's 1 in 100 children," says Dr. Granpeesheh. "This is a crisis that deserves our attention and resources. Autism is treatable and recovery is possible with the right services. This is why I started CARD and that is what keeps me going."
"I was told to institutionalize my son when he was diagnosed with autism at the age of three," said Bryce Miler, mother to former CARD client, Brett. Brett, who spoke at the 20th Anniversary Gala, was treated by CARD from 1994 to 1999, recovered and is now studying psychology at Moorpark College. "Thank goodness I found CARD back then. They worked miracles with my son and so many other children."
"Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh is a true pioneer in the field of autism. She has provided hope to families living with autism around the world. Her passion, vision and commitment have made a difference for generations to come," says Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, Executive Director of Autism Care and Treatment Today! (ACT Today!).
Gala Honorary Committee Members include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Kelsey Grammer, Howie Mandel, Joe Mantegna, Camryn Manheim, Jane Kaczmarek, Ken and Linda Howard, Annette O'Toole, John Salley, the Dixie Chicks, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Jerry Penacoli, John Mendoza, Charles Downes, Leeza Gibbons, Ron Masak, Leven Rambin, Tom Bergeron, and Mariel Hemingway.
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh accepts Special Tribute
Macy Gray performs at CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010
Emmy Winning Actress Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) walks the red carpet of CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010.
Actors Kyle Massey (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Max Burkholder (“Parenthood”) walk the red carpet of CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010.
ACT Today’s! Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, International Rap Artist Won-G, and Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh on red carpet of CARD’s 20th Anniversary Gala, held on September 25, 2010.