Woodland Hills, CA – The 2nd Annual All Ghouls Gala, a star-studded Halloween event organized by Autism Care Today, celebrated the spirit of giving and advocacy on Saturday, October 28th, 2023, at the Woodland Hills Country Club. The event featured a night of fun, frights, and fabulous costumes, with special guest honorees Dr. Temple Grandin, Joe Mantegna, and Areva Martin, Esq., each recognized with the prestigious “Lending Your Voice” award.
Areva Martin, the Founder and President of the Special Needs Network, received the “Lending Your Voice” award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and unwavering advocacy for individuals with autism. As a civil rights attorney, media personality, and author, Martin has pioneered groundbreaking work at the intersection of autism and social justice, most recently opening opening of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (C.A.D.D.), a comprehensive and fully integrated developmental and autism center situated within the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus. This state-of-the-art first-of-its-kind facility marks a transformative milestone for the region and sets a new standard for the state and the nation.
In response to receiving the award, Areva Martin stated, “I am deeply honored to be recognized with the ‘Lending Your Voice’ award at the All Ghouls Gala. This award signifies our collective commitment to uplifting the voices and rights of those on the autism spectrum. I am proud to stand alongside Dr. Temple Grandin and Joe Mantegna in advocating for a more inclusive world where ‘different’ is celebrated, not marginalized.”
The All Ghouls Gala, known as the Halloween Event of the Season, brought together celebrities, influencers, and supporters of the autism community to raise funds for families affected by autism. Guests enjoyed a night of spooky elegance, fortune-telling, and dancing, with costume prizes awarded for Best Costume, Spookiest Costume, Funniest Costume, and Best Couples/Group Costume.
Autism Care Today (ACT), the host of the event, dedicated all proceeds from the gala to their grants program. Since 2005, ACT has provided nearly 2 million dollars in grants to families for essential items such as safety equipment, insurance co-pays, assistance dogs, camp scholarships, communication devices, and more. The organization was founded by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, a nationally recognized psychologist and founder of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD).
Special Needs Network, Inc. is a nonprofit grassroots 501(c)(3) organization responding to the crisis of autism and other developmental disabilities in underserved communities. We recognize the intersectionality of individuals with disabilities and that their fight for disability rights is inextricably tied to the fight for racial justice and the civil rights of all people. For more information, visit www.snnla.org.
Autism Care Today (ACT) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing treatment services and support to families, helping children with autism achieve their full potential. For more information, visit www.act-today.org.