Autism Speaks hosted a Mother’s Day “Moms 4 Moms” luncheon at The Lambs Club in New York City Wednesday, May 1. This celebration of motherhood honored Autism Speaks national board member, fashion designer and former model Dee Ocleppo, and mothers within the autism community.
The moms enjoyed socializing, cocktails, food and a special mother’s day gift from Dee as a show of recognition for their love and support of their families. The event also recognized Dee’s generous donation of handbags from her DEESIGNS line now available through the Autism Speaks online store, shop.autismspeaks.org.
Through the sale of the handbags, with an estimated value of close to $300,000, 100 percent of the proceeds fund the mission of Autism Speaks. The organization also announced its Mother’s Day special: each of the bags will be on sale from now until May 12 for $88 – representing the one in 88 children affected by autism. The special also includes free shipping until Mother’s Day.
At today’s event, friend and fellow board member Laura Slatkin (Founder of Candela Group & NEST Fragrances) honored Dee, and other women who in her words have, “Dreamed, worked, hoped, believed, struggled and loved enough to make a difference.”
Northern NJ Walk Now for Autism Speaks Committee member Johanna Burke, whose 10-year-old son Aidan is severely affected by autism and epilepsy, emphasized the importance of raising funds for research into the causes and treatment of autism.
Dee loves collecting and hunting for unique, quirky, and stylish objects, so it’s no surprise that her love for collecting and her sentimental heart led to the launch of DEESIGNS. Her line features decorative frames recalling her most sentimental places (The Plaza, Greenwich, Monaco and Mustique), and interchangeable covers that conveniently unbutton. The fashionable designs focus on customization and signature style, where one can choose a bag frame and from a selection of coverlets to fashion their own distinct look. The collection includes the smaller “Plaza” clutch designed for a night out on the town, which can be worn three different ways.