Autism Cares Foundation Reaches for the Stars

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Don’t miss Linda on ‘Power your Life’ with Dr. Jo Anne White
airing on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014!
Verizon 19
Comcast 44
 

When Autism Cares Foundation Co-Founder and CEO Linda Kuepper, and Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jacqueline Laurita, got together recently they were first and foremost two moms comparing notes about their sons who both have Autism.

But there was much more to this pairing than meets the eye.

 Kuepper and Laurita were guests on the television show, Power Your Life with Dr. Jo Anne White (Channel 44), and got together for a taping of an Autism-themed episode that will air on Wednesday, April 2 at 8 p.m.

“The television show and these two amazing women are helping to spread the word on a story that is so dear to our hearts,” said Kuepper.
The three goal-oriented women were truly in sync. So much so that they have announced they will get together to help local children and their families at the Autism Cares Foundation 5th Annual Gala & Auction at the Hyatt at the Bellevue in downtown Philadelphia on Friday, May 2nd.
Dr. White and Laurita will attend the May 2nd Charity Gala & Auction, where they will share with the several hundred guests their inspiring stories of the triumphs and challenges facing their sons and other local Autistic children, teens and adults.”We are honored to have Dr. Jo Anne White and Jacqueline Laurita at our upcoming gala,” said Kuepper. “It will be a spectacular evening in which we will showcase Autism Cares Foundations events and programs demonstrating to our supporters how they are ‘making a difference’ in the lives of people affected by Autism.
 Laurita, who has charmed television audiences for five seasons on Real Housewives of New Jersey, is the mother of 4-year-old son,Nicolas, who was diagnosed with Autism. “The best part of being Nicolas’ mom is that he is so loving,” she said. “My son loves showering me with hugs and kisses and he truly makes me smile every single day.”

Once Laurita revealed that Nicolas was diagnosed with Autism she said that people from all walks of life reached out to help her family with love, support and resources, including Kuepper.

“I enjoyed being on the show because of all of the interesting people I have met along the way and my ability to raise awareness for Autism,” Laurita said.

Nearly six years ago, Linda Kuepper, of Richboro, had a dream that her son, Michael, now 16, would be surrounded by supportive and caring children and their families while enjoying an active social life.

That dream came true when Linda and her husband, Frank, created Autism Cares Foundation. During the past several years, Autism Cares Foundation has provided more than 150 social activities each year, and as a result, is giving those with Autism a variety of choices of memorable experiences that enhance their lives and also enhances the lives of their parents, grandparents, siblings and friends.

The Gala & Auction typically generates about 50 percent of the Foundation’s annual revenue, so auction items, financial donations and sponsorships help ensure the event is a rousing success.

Among these activities are newly released sensory-friendly movies such as Frozen, and Wreck It Ralph, outings to watch the Phillies play, bowling, swimming, fitness classes, holiday parties, teen proms, skills classes, exciting nights to Bounce U in Langhorne, and much more. These social activities and other life skills are free of charge for the families that participate, funded by donations from individuals, businesses and corporations.

Of exceptional interest is the Foundation’s iPad program. This program helps individuals use new methods of learning and communication through the use of iPads and similar devices. The organization has researched hundreds of apps to help guide parents toward those that may be the most helpful for their particular special learner. The iPad program has given those who cannot speak for themselves a voice to be heard.

When asked how and why Autism Cares Foundation provides the vast array of programs and activities that it does, Kuepper said that she gets her energy and inspiration from the children and their families. It inspires her when she sees the smiles that finally come to a child’s face and when she hears a sigh of relief from a grateful parent. “Even with all that we have accomplished over the past few years, we have so much more that we want to do,” said Kuepper.

The long-term goal for the Foundation is the development of an Autism Center for Excellence and Life Enrichment Facility. Kuepper envisions a multi-faceted facility that will encompass many of the needs in a centralized setting.

After all, Kuepper likes to remind the caring people around her that, “Everyone makes a difference; the difference is the difference you choose to make.”

For further information, to volunteer, make a donation, to sponsor an event, or attend the gala, please go to the Autism Cares Foundation website or call 215-559-2273.