On October 10, 2010 from 5 – 9 p.m., Special Needs Network is hosting their 5th Annual Evening Under the Stars gala at the Wilshire Ebell Gardens (743 S. Lucerne Blvd, Hancock Park) to raise money for families caring for children with autism and related disorders.

Guests will enjoy a special musical performance by Grammy Award nominated R&B vocal artist Melanie Fiona, and Dr. Jim Sears of the Emmy Award winning “The Doctors” will be master of ceremonies.

This year’s event will honor CBS 2 and KCAL 9 General Manager Steve Mauldin who established the annual “Stephanie’s Day” event in his daughter’s honor, a day of free activities for families with special needs children in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. Also being honored is California Senator Honorable Curren D. Price who heads the South Los Angeles Autism Regional Task Force to advance state policies to combat autism and promote the discovery for a cure for autism, and Terrie M. Williams, veteran celebrity publicist and co-founder of the Stay Strong Foundation which is dedicated to helping individuals who are underdiagnosed and suffering from depression.

“Every year this event helps bring more and more visibility, support and awareness for autism and other developmental disorders to our community,” comments Special Needs Network founder and attorney Areva Martin. “I’m excited that we have such wonderful humanitarians who are participating and being honored at this year’s event to help us further our cause and continue serving underprivileged Los Angeles families caring for special needs children.”

After her son, Marty, was diagnosed with autism, Attorney and “Dr. Phil” regular on-air legal and advocacy expert Areva Martin founded the Special Needs Network in 2005. Special Needs Network is a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides resources, advocacy training, parent workshops and educational opportunities to children with disabilities. Applauded for its innovative and parent-centered approach by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Diane Watson, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and other elected officials and community leaders, Special Needs Network has provided assistance to thousands of Los Angeles families.

Martin is a recognized authority on advocacy and autism and authored The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism which was released this year by Penguin Books.


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