Thursday, October 20, 2011

Special Needs Network Hosts 6th Annual "Evening Under The Stars"

SNN Board Members: Jan Davis, Sonjia White, Esq., Bonnie Berry Lamon, Esq., SNN President, Areva D. Martin, Esq., Dr. Ruth Creary, Annette Holloman, Shamya Ullah & Cheryl Gully

Los Angeles, CA – While national statistics offer a dire picture of children being diagnosed with developmental disabilities, Southern California’s premier organization providing services specifically to families raising children or caring for adults of color with autism or other developmental disorders proudly acknowledged those who helped during a special “Evening Under the Stars" gala presented by Toyota.

Held Sunday, October 9, 2011 at the Annenberg Building at the California Science Center, Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN) hosted its 6th annual “Evening Under the Stars,” the biggest yet with 415 guests in attendance, and raising the most amount of funds ever to help sustain the growing list of programs that benefit families in need, including Camp JPAC.

The gala honored a host of important figures making an impact in the autism community, including newly elected President of Charles R. Drew University, Dr. David Carlisle; Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, producers of Dear John, the Twilight series, and the new ABC show Revenge; Dr. Tumani Leatherwood and Dr. Jose Cervantes, directors of the first Kaiser Permanente medical office in South Los Angeles and US Bank Senior Vice President Darrell Brown. A special Local Hero Award was presented to Senate President Pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, a tremendous champion of the autism community and author of the Autism Insurance Mandate Bill (SB 946), which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday afternoon just hours before the celebration.

With CBS2/KCAL9 news anchor, Sandra Mitchell serving as Mistress of Ceremonies, SNN welcomed a crowd of corporate executives, community leaders, key influencers and parents including, State Senator Curren Price, Assemblymembers Steve Bradford and Mike Feuer, LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, LA City Controller Wendy Greuel, Toyota’s Group Vice President and General Counsel, Chris Reynolds and Gala Co-Chair LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas.

LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, Avis Ridley-Thomas, Carol Baca, Senator Darrell Steinberg, SNN President Areva D. Martin, Esq., Assemblyman Steve Bradford, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas

Kelly Ann Henry, Toyota; Chris Reynolds, Group Vice President & General Counsel Toyota, & Alva Mason Adams, Toyota

SNN President Areva D. Martin, Esq. with Evening Under the Stars Honorees, Marty Bowen & Wyck Godfrey, Temple Hill Entertainment; Senator Darrell Steinberg; Dr. Jose Cervantes & Dr. Tumani Leatherwood, Kaiser Permanente South LA Medical offices; Dr. David Carlisle, President, Charles Drew University; SNN Board Members Cheryl Gully & Bonnie Berry Lamon, Esq. & Honoree, Darrell Brown, Senior Vice President, US BANK.

“Our honorees have shown an unwavering commitment to children and families in our community,” commented Areva Martin, Esq. SNN president and co-founder. “With long track records providing community support, our top honorees are more than deserving of this recognition,” said Martin, Esq., also managing partner, Martin & Martin, LLP, legal expert to the Dr. Phil Show and author of “The Everyday Advocate.”

The evening also included the touching premiere of “Camp JPAC: The Feature” produced and directed by CBS2/KCAL9. Ending the evening on a high note, Elaine Gibbs and her band paid a special tribute to the legends of Motown and moved the crowd to their feet.

Special Needs Network, Inc. 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 family-centered approach by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, as well as a host of other elected officials and community leaders, SNN has served over 20,000 families since its inception. Special Needs Network, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. For additional information on Special Needs Network, log on to

“Evening Under the Stars” corporate sponsors included Toyota, CBS2/KCAL9, Kaiser Permanente, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

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