ABOVE: The second annual Autism Speaks to Wall Street: A Celebrity Chef Gala, held at Cipriani Wall Street last year. BELOW: Josh Shaw
I was introdced to Autism Speaks nearly five years ago as a contestant on season four of NBC’s The Apprentice with Donald Trump. During the final task of the show, our team was responsible for hosting a celebrity softball event to raise awareness and funds for a new charity called Autism Speaks. That’s where I first learned about the harsh realities of the prevalence of autism— I was shocked to hear that it’s now affecting 1 in 150 people, up from 1 in 10,000 15 years ago.
I’m the founder and CEO of Mission Skincare, and both the company and I support Autism Speaks events in any way we can. Through product donations, auction items and, where possible, athlete appearances, Mission is committed to helping Autism Speaks raise awareness and funds for its important cause. This is the third year for Autism Speaks to Wall Street: A Celebrity Chef Gala, which is being held on October 14 at Cipriani Wall Street. The gala benefi ts Autism Speaks via a live auction. In addition there are several levels of sponsorship, ranging from $15,000 to $100,000, that individuals or companies can buy in return for a table at the event. Top sponsors receive the first choice of chef to cook at their table. A limited number of individual tickets are also available for $1,500.
As a new parent of two children myself, I can’t comprehend how a child can go from being a fully functioning individual who can speak and say things like “I love you” to not even being able to smile. Furthermore, to know that there is no known cause or cure for autism makes me even more compelled to help in any way possible. Autismspeaks.org; missionskincare.com.
When my good friends Bob and Suzanne Wright decide to give a party for a cause, they do it the old fashioned way: They call up their pals Jerry Seinfeld and Bruce Springsteen to entertain the troops, then ask a few thousand of their nearest and dearest to attend. It’s Hollywood, Palm Beach, New York and Nantucket all in the same room—and only Suzanne makes it work. All this for their cause, Autism Speaks, which they founded.
Friends who have preliminarily committed themselves to supporting the November 17th event at Carnegie Hall include Conan O’Brien, Jamie Foxx, Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Will Ferrell, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, Susan Saint James and Dick Ebersol, Caryn and Jeff Zucker, Deeda and Bill Blair, Vera Wang, Tommy and Dee Hilfi ger, Martha Stewart, Sarah, Duchess of York, assorted Rudins, Trumps, ambassadors, royals… Oh, what a fête it will be! Autismspeaks.org; harryslatkinblog.com
— HARRY SLATKIN