At the 7th Annual Evening Under the Stars Awards Show and Gala, which took place on Saturday, October 13, over 400 of Los Angeles’ top executives, elected officials, stakeholders, and community leaders bid on more than 40 auction items, celebrated the work of community champions, and danced the night away to an electrifying live concert by long-time Prince collaborator and four-time Grammy award nominee Sheila E.
Celebrities and special guests in attendance included actor and comedian Anthony Anderson, who hosted the live action, and veteran actor Richard Lawson, who served as the emcee for the evening’s awards show, LA County Supervisor and Honorary Event Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Senators Curren D. Price, Jr. and Carol Liu, Assemblymembers Holly J. Mitchell, Steve Bradford, Isadore Hall, and Mike Feuer, Controller Wendy Greuel, and Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
Under the direction of LA-based event planning maven Todd Hawkins, Special Needs Network transformed the historical Ebell of Los Angeles for the event. Multi-colored mood lights lined the interior of the Wilshire Ebell Theater and brought a magical and mystical feel to the awards show portion of the evening.
Guests bid via a silent auction on original artwork by children and young teens who attended this year’s Joe Patton Academy Camp (Camp JPAC) – the only free summer inclusion camp in Los Angeles for children and young teens with special needs and their typically-developing siblings and peers. Other items offered at the silent auction included an introductory flight lesson, a L.A. Dodgers package with a signed baseball and tickets, private wine tasting with an expert consultant, and premium tickets to a L.A. Clippers game.
The live auction, hosted by actor and star of the current hit NBC sitcom “Guys with Kids,” Anthony Anderson, featured luxurious packages such as VIP Garden Box seats to Barbra Streissand live at the Hollywood Bowl, a week-long getaway to Costa Rica, and New Years’ Eve laughs with Kevin Hart at the Staples Center.
Proceeds will benefit the upcoming school-based autism health clinic – the first facility of its kind, which will provide medical, developmental, and psychological services, in addition to case coordination, legal assistance, housing, jobs, and social services to children and families in the surrounding Watts/Willowbrook community.
“We are so excited about the opportunity to unveil the clinic at the gala and to gain critical support from our sponsors including Toyota, Cedars-Sinai, NBC Universal, Walmart, and Watts Health Foundation,” said SNN President and gala co-chair Areva Martin, Esq.
A collaboration between Special Needs Network, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, Los Angeles County Education Foundation, California Endowment, and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the 10,000 square feet space will be built at the Martin Luther King Hospital medical campus in South Los Angeles and is slated to open in 2014.
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