Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TACA's Ante Up For Autism Event

Autism is a National Emergency: 
Did you know that 1 in every 91 children is diagnosed with autism?
More than 2 million are living with autism in the United States.
Every 21 minutes a parent is being told their child has autism.

TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to speed up the time from diagnosis to treatment for families who have just received an autism diagnosis. TACA helps to strengthen the autism community by connecting families with the professionals who can help them, leading to a better quality of life for people affected by autism. 

I mentioned last week (here) that Amy and I would be attending Ante Up For Autism, a poker night fundraiser held by TACA at St. Regis Resort. Well, it was awesome! I took plenty of pictures to show you guys, so I'll let those do the talking:

 [Olympic Gold Medal Hurdle Winner Felix Sanchez & Red Carpet MC Renee Herlocker]

[Actor Jacob Vargas]

[Actor/Producer/Writer Sevier Crespo]

[Actress/Singer Kate Voegele

[Kate Voegele chatting with Amy]

"It's really inspiring to me to see an organization like TACA being determined to diagnose [autism] early, and really investigate what is making it such an increasing issue among children. It was amazing to me to read that something like one in 90 children are diagnosed with autism. So, it's pretty awesome to be here and be a part of it." -Kate Voegele, to Amy 

[Amy gets a word in with Johnathon Schaech...we're hoping he liked our That Thing You Do allusions]

"I've been coming [to this event] for about four years now...being a creative artist, I'm artistic and I relate to the autistic. They need forms of expression; they need to be understood. They are misunderstood, and places like TACA provides parents with places to take their children to find hope to get through troubled times that they're going to face with an autistic child.
It's a silent epidemic. People are scared to admit that it's actually happening. TACA offers a responsible hope; they don't feed you falseness. They make sure you understand that it's a journey...Curing is one thing, but also just helping a child get through his day is another." -Johnathon Schaech, to Amy

[Event host- and retired NFL QB- Jim Everett]

[Amy makes friends with event host Jim Everett, his wife Rachel, and their two daughters. Turns out the Everetts live in OC!]

"We understand the mountains that each family has to climb with children, let alone family with autism. So, we believe that if we can help build awareness about where they can find help and assistance so we can make a difference. If we can make a difference in one child's life, great; but hopefully we can make a difference in 20,000 or more." -Jim Everett, to Amy

"I have a friend named Dylan, and he has autism. We were friends since we were very little, and he;s about my age- two months apart. I think TACA's really going to help him." -Alexandra Everett, Jim Everett's daughter

[Retired NFL player Mike Lansford, also an OC native]

[Mike Lansford takes a minute to chat with Amy]

"I don't have a personal connection [with autism]; I played with Jim Everett, so I had no choice. [laughs] He did not drag me show up to this event, and to raise awareness for autism and for TACA is our pleasure." -Mike Lansford, to Amy

[BMX Rider Stephen Murray]

[Stephen Murray tells Amy about his interest in TACA]

"I know they'll find a cure for autism. The stuff these parents go through for their kids is amazing." -Stephen Murray, to Amy

[Amy gets some face time with world champion cyclist Brian Lopes, who happens to be an OC native!]

I’m good friends with Pat and Stephanie and they’re heavily involved with TACA. Their kid has autism. So, basically from the first year that this event was put on, I came here to support them and to support TACA and help raise money. 
I never win. Not at poker. That’s not my game. I don’t really like gambling that much, but I like to do it here because it’s for a good cause.”  -Brian Lopes, to Amy

As you can see, the place was brimming with all kinds of talent- athletic, musical, and otherwise- and we got to chat with a great selection of these bigwigs! We had a blast! After the red carpet entry, we ventured to the courtyard for the cocktail hour and silent auction. There was some great loot up for auction.

[Two of the Thomas Kincade paintings up for auction. The proceeds from the silent auction went to TACA]

[Beautiful St. Regis! Amy made me take this]

Here's a shot looking back down at the courtyard auction. It's not the clearest shot, but it gives you an idea of the turnout- it was a hit!

To learn more,  visit TACA's website. You can join for free, find support and mentoring, find out about some cool upcoming events, and more- you can even shop for a cause on TACA's site!


on my iTunes: Sea Wolf's "You're a Wolf"

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