8th Annual Autism Cares Foundation Spring Gala
The 8th Annual Autism Cares Foundation Spring Gala & Auction was a magical, elegant, and unforgettable evening, for the 300 guests who mixed, mingled, and danced the night away.
The inspiring 5-Star event, included a VIP Awards Reception, silent and live auctions, sit down dinner, awards from dignitaries, and much more at the Spring Mill Manor in Ivyland, PA.
What made this such a magical event was the heart-felt message of love and acceptance for children and adults with autism, and other special needs, and their family members, that was spread by everyone who came out to support the
non-profit Autism Cares Foundation.
The Spring Gala & Auction took place on Saturday, April 22, and this marks an important time in the evolution of the Autism Cares Foundation, which has provided more than 1,000 free events, social programs, and life enrichment opportunities for individuals with autism, and their family members, during the past eight years.
"Each of you and the organization has
touched many lives - bringing opportunity, progress and hope to children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum, and their families," said Co-Founder and President Frank Kuepper. "The smiles go on for miles, which is something you have made possible."
He recognized the dignitaries who came out to support the Foundation: Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Rep. Scott Petri, former State Rep. Denny O'Brien and Nina Wall Cote, the director of the Bureau of Autism Services for the state of Pennsylvania.
Frank and Linda Kuepper thanked the sponsors, donors, board of directors, staff, and numerous volunteers, "whom we count on every day to bring their warmth and miles of smiles to our many special friends."
Congressman Fitzpatrick presented Linda and Frank Kueppe
r with an official certificate from "The United States House of Representatives [that] proudly recognizes Autism Cares Foundation for their devoted service to our community."
State Rep Petri, on behalf of State Senator Robert Tomlinson, presented Bob and JoAnn Huth with an official proclamation for their extensive charitable efforts, including their work with Autism Cares Foundation. Both couples said that they were humbled by the recognition.
The Emcee for the glamorous Spring Gala was Jim Donovan, co-anchor and multiple Emmy-Award-winning consumer reporter and anchor for CBS3 Eyewitness News, who has been helping Autism Cares Foundation to spread its message for several years.
"I have witnessed the tremendous growth in the past year by offering 200 free events and activities for individuals with autism," Donovan said. "There is no other organization in the state, or even the country, that runs an activity calendar like the Autism Cares Foundation."
Linda Kuepper, Autism Cares Foundation
Co-Founder and CEO, spoke about the upcoming "Under the Sea Prom," taking place at Council Rock High School South on Friday, May 19.
"This prom is really special. They have a scrumptious catered buffet dinner, a DJ playing music, and have their photos taken that they can take home. It is a prom just like their peers - in a safe and welcoming environment," said Linda Kuepper.
Another major accomplishment of the Autism Cares Foundation was the starting of the Adult Service Division in July 2016, led by the program CEO Beth Garrison. The program focuses on Adult Day Habilitation services, home and community services and vocational services for those age 21 and over. This program has become so successful, so quickly, that they are already nearing capacity in the current Southampton location, and a second location will need to be developed in the near future.
Each year, Autism Cares Foundation honors an individual who has made a significant difference in the Special Needs Community. At the 8th Annual Gala, the Foundation honored Bob and JoAnn Huth with the 2017 Cares Award.
The Huth's were presented with a unique painting
created by Mitchell Bowyer, an adult with autism who has graciously created these awards for the last three years. No two awards are ever the same, and Bowyer is inspired by learning the background of each person winning the award.
Their early assistance gave Linda and Frank Kuepper the confidence to persevere when times were difficult. They could see the need and the benefit the Autism Cares Foundation could bring to the children and adults with autism, and the greater community.
While acknowledging that the Autism Cares Foundation has "accomplished a great deal in a short time," Frank Kuepper said, "the journey has much further to go, and we have much more to accomplish."
The next step, Frank Kuepper said, is to develop chapters throughout the area, and throughout the country, "bringing our formula for success, opportunity, and hope and to develop our inclusion community to answer the need for continued life skills development, job development and training, and life-long care, that so many of us parents continue to stress over."
"I ask you to look beyond the immediacy and to think about legacy," he urged. "You can make a difference that lasts beyond today, beyond tomorrow, and beyond yourself."
Debra Wallace Forman, Director of Communications
May Programs and Events
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5/17/17- State Farm Seminar
With Steve Milligan. More information to come.
Autism Awareness Month, a HUGE success!
When Autism Cares Foundation held its first event in 2008, we never dreamed of the amount of support and generosity that we would receive from our amazing community and friends.
Now, 8 years later, ACF offer over 200 free programs and events each year for children, teens and adults with all special needs.
During April, Autism Awareness Month, our community held numerous fundraisers for us that spanned over the entire month! Your generosity is astounding, and we want to thank each and every establishment, volunteer and donor who support us along the way!
April kicked off at Barnes & Noble with a 2 day in-store and on-line proceeds fundraiser. They raised over $100 which would help towards our Glee Club Program! Thank you so much!
Maggie's Waterfront Cafe held an awesome fundraiser and donated $4500 to ACF! These funds will pay for Bounce U and Fitlife, for the entire year! Thank you to Maggie's, their amazing staff, and everyone who came out to support ACF!
For our supportive foodies, Mt. Fuji in Southampton and The Hattery Stove and Still in Doylestown held back to back fundraisers all which brought in many customers and many donations! We raised over $500 during these nights, which would cover a Sensory Friendly Movie! Thank you to Alex from Mt. Fuji and Billy from The Hattery for our support! It means the world to us!
The student run Autism Cares Foundation Club at Council Rock North and the Autism Awareness Club at Council Rock South
closed out Autism Awareness Month with back to back fundraisers to benefit ACF. They organized and held a proceeds night at Chick- fil- a and a Car Wash the very next day! Their efforts raised enough funds to host our Annual Halloween Party!
We also had many other community fundraisers including, a Lu La Roe night, many community walks and runs, and local stores who donated proceeds from their events.
ACF wants to thank each and everyone of you for your incredible support. It truly takes a village, and we are blessed to call you OUR village!
Jasmine Ridgeway, Executive Administrator
Brent Reilly receives Eagle Scout Award
We were so fortunate to be a part of the over 120 friends and family that attended the Eagle Scout Ceremony for Brent Reilly.
Brent received his Eagle Scout Award and citations from Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, PA State Representative Frank Perry, Marine Corps League and Autism Cares Foundation.
Brent did his Eagle Scout project with ACF, and we couldn't be moreproud to be at his ceremony.
Jasmine Ridgeway, Executive Administrator
Join us for all of our upcoming fundraisers!
We hope to see you there
. Thank you for your continued support.
Over the years, GASTEC has been fortunate enou
gh to cultivate a very loyal customer base in our community and they wanted to thank the community by giving back.
As one of the most recognized propane companies in the area, GASTEC is very proud to support some local charities and their commendable causes. We are excited to announce that GASTEC has Chosen Autism Cares Foundation as their newest charity. GASTEC will be donating proceeds from each gallon pumped from their newest truck! Stop by and check out GASTEC's Autism Cares Foundation Truck. GASTEC -
Volunteer Of The Month-
Volunteers that go above and beyond to help children, teens and adults with special needs are the backbone of this foundation.
All of our events would not be possible without the tireless efforts behind the scenes of our amazing volunteers.
Isabella has been chosen as our May volunteer of the month for her tremendous efforts at our various programs and events. She has been with the foundation since last fall and has volunteered at many social activities we have held since then including the Hayride, Halloween Dance, Holiday Party, Valentine Dance, Irish Social and our annual Spring Gala. Isabella is a student at Bucks County Community College and this year she is President of the Future Teachers Organization where she has recruited many volunteers for ACF.
We want to thank Isabella for all that she does. She is truly an asset to ACF and contributes to the success of our events.
Renee Marbo- Volunteer Coordinator