ACT Today!’s (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) 7th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism fundraiser raised over $260,000 on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California. Net proceeds from the star-studded event will help provide resources and grants to children with autism whose families cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their highest potential, including grants for therapy, medical care, assistance dogs, assistive technology, basic safety equipment, tuition for special needs schools and social skills programs. More than 500 guests attended the fundraiser.
Actor Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), television executive Steve Mauldin (KCBS 2/KCAL 9) received the 2012 ACTivist awards and community activist Kathleen Sternbach received the 2012 Golden Cowgirl award for their tireless efforts raising autism awareness.
The evening began with star-studded red carpet arrivals which included actor Joe Mantegna ("Criminal Minds"), television executive Steve Mauldin (President/GM of KCBS 2/ KCAL 9), award-winning singer/songwriter Brian McKnight, actor Shemar Moore ("Criminal Minds”), actress Jean Smart ("Hope Springs"), actor Richard Gilliland ("Torchwood"), actress Bonnie Hunt ("Cheaper By the Dozen", "Jerry Maguire"), actress AJ Cook ("Criminal Minds"), actor Mark Christopher Lawrence ("Chuck"), television executive Vin Di Bona (Vin Di Bona Productions), actor Erik Fellows ("Days of Our Lives"), actress Hunter King ("The Young and The Restless"), actor Don Diamont (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), actress Katherine Kelly Lang (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), actor Lou Diamond Phillips (“Longmire”), martial artist/actor Don “The Dragon” Wilson and actor Kyle Massey.
The reception was hosted by Maddy’s Market and sponsored by Natrol, Inc. Guests mingled and bid on 85 silent auction items before being seated for the dinner buffet program. ACT Today! grant recipient Dora Perez joined actor Mark Christopher Lawrence on stage and told the audience how her son Dustin was once nonverbal and low functioning and with the help of an ACT Today! grant for an iPad, Dustin has learned to speak and make friends. Dustin joined his mother on stage and said an emotional “Thank you, ACT Today!” using his iPad to help communicate the words. Guests bid on 17 live auction items including a lavish trip to Las Vegas with a stay at Caesars Palace, a 2-year prepaid Nissan LEAF 100% electric car provided by Universal City Nissan and a national champion reserve half Arabian horse provided by Hoffman International Properties. Musical entertainment was provided by tenor George Komsky who sang “Dare to Live,” twins 2-U-NEEK performed “Hero” and multiple award-winning singer Brian McKnight performed a mini-concert to the guests’ delight. At the end of the dinner program, guests were treated to a post party with BOSS in the USA; a Bruce Springsteen tribute band.
Major corporate sponsors of this year’s event include: CBS Corporation, Vin Di Bona Productions, Universal City Nissan, TWIW Insurance Services LLC, Reaction Audio Visual, Natrol, William Henry, Maddy’s Market, Wells Fargo, Judy and Jay Hearst along with Pressure Tech, Puritas, Sandy and David Stone, Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc., Burbank Printing, Hoffman International Properties, City National Bank, The Hollywood Reporter, Latham & Watkins, The Shape of Behavior, United Healthcare, CodeMetro, Valley Economic Development Center, Double Helix Water, Lineagen, Isabella Emporium, GLO Hair Salon, Passageway School, Planet Beauty, Rage Models and Westlake Magazine.
About ACT Today!:
ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing treatment services and support to families of children with autism who cannot afford or access the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential. For more information about ACT Today!, visit: www.act-today.org