Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Women of Influence Step up in Support of Autism
By Sentinel News Service
Published May 7, 2009

Holly Robinson-Peete

Women of Influence from Business, Entertainment, Politics and Non-profits Come Together for Special Needs Network’s “Pink Pump Affair” High Tea, Couture Fashion Show and Awards Gala to Raise Awareness and Funds for Children with Autism and Related Disorders.

On Sunday May 17, Special Needs Network Inc. will host its first annual “Pink Pump Affair,” inviting women to wear pink pumps in support of autism. This star-studded event will take place at the new Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills at 2 p.m. At the tea, Special Needs Network will honor five women who are committed to enriching their communities and making a difference. Women of Distinction Honorees include Holly Robinson-Peete, Actress, and Autism Advocate; Dr. Ruth Creary, CEO Visiting Angels; Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO, Act-1 Group; and Carliss McGhee, President and Co-Founder, Khocolate Keepsakes. Congresswoman Maxine Waters will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to afternoon tea, the event includes a couture fashion show with designs by Trina Turk and Edward Lowell’s of Beverly Hills, a shoe auction featuring designer shoes by Jimmy Choo, Stuart Weitzman, Athena Alexander, Callisto of California, Taryn Rose and other must have designers. Entertainment news correspondent and noted journalist, Tanya Hart, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

Celebrity honorary chairs and guests include Leeza Gibbons, KeKe Palmer, Dayna Devon, Tichina Arnold, Vanessa Bell-Calloway, Taryn Rose, Beverly White, and many more.

The “Pink Pump Affair” is sponsored by Broadway Federal Bank, Time Warner Cable, Martin & Martin LLP, Trina Turk, Taryn Rose, L’Oreal Paris, Edwards-Lowell Furs, Union Bank of California, & Frederick’s of Hollywood. The official Shoe Sponsor for the event is J&A Shoes.

Special Needs Network Inc. is a non-profit, community-based organization with a mission to raise public awareness of developmental disabilities, particularly as it relates to autism while providing education and resources to families, children and adults in underserved communities particularly in South and South Central Los Angeles.

Autism is the fastest growing development disability in the country. One in every 150 child and one in every 94 boys are impacted by this neurological condition that typically develops in children under two years old and which affects their ability to communicate, learn and interact with others. More than 64 million people throughout the world have been identified as autistic. According to statistics, African American and Latino children are often diagnosed two to three years later than their non-minority peers and children in low-income areas often fail to get the intervention services needed to assist in their development.

Since its inception four years ago, Special Needs Network has provided educational training, resources and advocacy for more than 10,000 families in low-income and minority communities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. The organization has been praised for its innovative programs and has been identified as one of the most effective grassroots organizations working on behalf of children with autism by Congresswomen Diane Watson (D-33rd) and Laura Richardson (D-37th), Special Needs Network.

The organization has been featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, on the Dr. Phil Show and in a myriad of other national print and television media. Co-founder and President, Areva Martin, Esq., was “named by Red Book Magazine in its December 2008 edition as one of the 10 women across the nation changing the face of autism.” She was featured along with Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks and Actress/ Singer Toni Braxton. Martin, a high-powered Los Angeles attorney, author and legal expert to the Dr. Phil Show is a tireless advocate for children and families. In addition to her work with Special Needs Network, Martin has written hundreds of articles on educational rights, intervention strategies and culturally competent care for children and adults with autism and related disorders.

Proceeds from the May 17th gala will be used to fund Special Needs Network’s parent training and Joe Patton Advanced Academy for youth. For more information on Special Needs Network, Inc. visit and for information on the gala, contact Todd Hawkins of the Todd Group at 310-649-6040.


Categories: Health

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