On Saturday, March 24, 2012, over 160 guests gathered in Atherton, Calif. outside of San Francisco for an exciting new fundraising event for Autism Speaks. Facing Autism Presents Acts of Love benefitting Autism Speaks raised nearly half a million dollars for autism research and advocacy. Acts of Love is a WordTheatre® Production created and directed by Cedering Fox.
The event was organized by Nanci Fredkin, a former board member of Cure Autism Now, who created Facing of Autism as a fundraiser back in 1998. The event brought over a dozen stars out from Los Angeles to perform in Acts of Love: Parenthood – a performance of quotes from well-known people on being a parent – the challenges and joys, and of being a parent to child with autism. Among the celebrity readers were Gil Bellows, Mary McDonnell, Marcia Gay Harden and Howard Hesseman. John Doe performed original songs during the performance.
Autism Speaks board members Chuck Saftler and John Wilson also attended and helped organize the event which was held at the home of Amy and Geoff Yang. The live auction raised $250,000 and featured such one-of-a-kind items such as Saturday Night Live tickets with tickets to the cast party and a meet-and-greet with cast and producers, which went for $20,000. A surprise item was when Charlie Sheen, who attended the event, hopped on stage to auction off lunch with him and a visit to the set of his new show. The winning bidder paid $50,000.
The evening ended with music and dancing.