ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), a national non-profit organization based in Tarzana, California announces its 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism signature event raised over $230,000. This year’s event breaks the national non-profit’s revenue generating record to date. The event, held on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at the Ahmanson Ranch in Calabasas, California was Diamond sponsored by TWIW Insurance Services, LLC, Reaction Audio Visual, Vin Di Bona Productions, BBC Worldwide Productions, Disney/ABC Television Group and Denim sponsored by Austin and Virginia Beutner. Funds raised through the 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds will help provide resources and grants to children with autism whose families cannot afford the necessary tools their children need to reach their full potential.
“With the state of our nation’s economy, we are truly amazed at the generous support, undeniable compassion and overall selflessness that the community has shown this year through the 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds,” says ACT Today!’s Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson. Alspaugh-Jackson, whose 9-year old son Wyatt has autism, started the Denim & Diamonds for Autism event in her backyard. “At the time, there were few resources about autism and for parents in need of care and treatment for their child. I am proud to say that the 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds continues to fulfill its mission of helping to alleviate the financial burden and emotional turmoil for many families by providing grants to those in desperate need.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 110 children in America is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making ASD more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined.
The 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism had an estimated 500 people in attendance in support of the cause, including seasoned pro athletes, Hollywood’s hottest young stars, and more who walked the red carpet including: TV host Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”), actor Max Ryan ("Sex and the City: 2"), Vin Di Bona (“Vin Di Bona Productions”), actress Ariel Winters (“Modern Family”), actor Nolan Gould (“Modern Family”), model/television personality Brooke Burke (“Dancing with the Stars”), actor Erik Fellows (“Days of Our Lives”), television personality Leeza Gibbons, actor Daniel Goddard (“The Young and Restless”), news broadcaster Nancy Grace, actors Kyle and Chris Massey, actor Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Chuck”), professional dancers Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Val Chmerkovskiy (“Dancing with the Stars”), actresses Juliana and Jennessa Rose (“Pretty Little Liars”), retired LA Laker Jamaal Wilkes, actor Robert Adamson (“Lincoln Heights”), actor Arjay Smith (“Precision”), actor Callan McAuliffe (“I am Number Four”), and actress Florence Henderson (“The Brady Bunch”).
The 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism was hosted by world renowned autism expert Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh and Alspaugh-Jackson with Headline News – Local Edition Anchor Brad Pomerance as master of ceremony. The evening recognized ACT Today!’s mission and highlighted TV host Tom Bergeron and Rebecca Grossman, founder of the Grossman Burn Foundation. The two humanitarians have led this year’s long list of autism supporters with for their extraordinary work in supporting ACT Today!’s mission. Bergeron received the ACTivist award for raising autism awareness not only in Hollywood, but also across the nation. Grossman received the Golden Cowgirl award for her tireless efforts improving the lives of children with and without autism.
The event included an outdoor cocktail reception plus VIP private reception, a silent auction, and entertainment provided by recording artist AJ Green. A seated dinner program followed the reception with an opening performance by ABC’s “Dancing with Stars” professional dancers Val Chmerkovskiy and Dasha Chesnokova accompanied by Latin recording artist Manny D. The program featured celebrity presenters, live auction and a paddle auction presented by Arizona Goldens, LLC in an effort to raise much needed funds to provide assistance dogs to children with autism. Tenor George Komsky brought guests to an emotional pinnacle as he sang “Prayer” eliciting the need to help those who cannot help themselves. Canadian recording artist Ricky J ended the dinner program with an original song, “Whatta Night”, in celebration of the event. For guests who were reluctant to go home at 9pm, an After Party with live entertainment by JERI CURL completed the event on a high. The program silent and live auctions, a seated dinner program and live entertainment provided by recording artists AJ Green, Manny D, Ricky J, Jeri Curl, tenor George Komsky, and professional ballroom dancers Val Chmerkovskiy and Dasha Chesnokova (“Dancing with the Stars”).
Additional event sponsors included: Sandy and David Stone, Universal City Nissan, Albers Consulting LLC, UnitedHealthcare, CodeMetro, City National Bank, The Auto Gallery of Los Angeles, Lear Family Foundation, New Heights Entertainment, Wells Fargo, Joe Penich Company Realtors, Michael John Image, ONEHOPE Wine, Blue Angel Vodka, Fireman’s Brew, Charity Lives, GLO Salon, AV Party Rentals, Sunshine Florist, Edible Arrangements, Indie Printing, Westlake Magazine, Robert Nettles MD, California Psychcare, Jettlyn Winery, VIP Premium Blend, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Linda Bertch Cupcakes, Rage Models, Four Paws and a Tail, and Isabella Emporium.
The event was produced by D. Plump Consulting.
The event was produced by D. Plump Consulting.
Events such as the 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism allow ACT Today! to raise essential funds to provide grants for families in desperate need of care and treatment. This year, ACT Today! has distributed $340,000 in grants to families.
For more information about the 6th Annual Denim & Diamonds for Autism, including photos and videos, visit www.denimanddiamondsforautism.net.