UC Irvine’s The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders held its fifth annual Hope & Help Gala on Saturday, September 7 at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach. The sold-out event raised nearly $400,000 to increase awareness for those affected by autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
In addition to the nearly 300guests who attended, the event was chockfull of special guests. Three-time NBA Lakers champion Byron Scott was accompanied by fiancé Cece Gutierrez of Basketball Wives, and surprised the crowd with an incredible live bidding opportunity for personalized signed sports memorabilia. Additionally, America’s Got Talent 2019 winner Kodi Lee (pictured above) took to the stage with a live musical performance on the piano and his family spoke about their experience with autism.
Co-hosted by Jaril Tudo and Krystine Solomon, the program for the evening also included dinner, a high-energy live auction and inspirational stories about how The Center is making a difference in the lives of families throughout Orange County.
Honorees this year included the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA), the county’s premier advocate for the protection of individuals and their access to civil justice, and Chace and Anne Warmington, longtime advocates of The Center.
Funds raised at the gala this year will benefit several key programs, including The Center’s “Transition to Adulthood” program that was created to help 18 – to 24 – year-olds.
“This year’s Gala was a tremendous success thanks to the remarkable support from our donors and the community,” said Catherine Brock, M.A., executive director of The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. “The funds raised this year will go towards implementing our one-of-a-kind ‘Transition to Adulthood’ program that will help these individuals to achieve their greatest goals.”
Home to a team of experts in the field of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders, The Center helps parents and families navigate the system, overcome obstacles, and assist children in reaching their optimal potential through excellent clinical care, innovative research, quality education, and community engagement to children, adolescents and young adults from birth to young adulthood.
Additionally, education and training are a key component of The Center’s mission, which continuously provides innovative educational and training opportunities to benefit parents, grandparents, caregivers, professionals, and community agencies impacted by autism spectrum and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
For more information about The Center, please visit www.thecenter4autism.org.