On Saturday, December 1st, 2007, Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright were honored at a dinner hosted by the Connecticut Center for Child Development (CCCD) with the Advocacy Award. Mrs. Wright accepted the award on their behalf. The awards ceremony took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Stamford, Conn. The Wrights were honored alongside Bobby Valentine, manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan's Pacific League, and former manager of the New York Mets, who received the Philanthropy Award, and Peter Gerhardt, an autism expert, consultant and author, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The gala was created to give autistic children in Connecticut a school for their future. Established in 1995, the CCCD is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and other pervasive developmental disorders throughout their lifespan.
Also this weekend, Autism Speaks executive board member Dr. Eric London and his wife Karen London, founders of the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) were honored at the Fire and Ice Ball to benefit The Autism Center of New Jersey Medical School at UMDNJ. The Londons were recognized for their dedication to furthering autism research and awareness. NAAR merged with Autism Speaks in 2006.
From left, Billy Mann, Gena Mann, Franklin Exkorn, Karen Siff Exkorn, author of The Autism Sourcebook, Teddy Geiger, and Suzanne Wright
Singer Teddy Geiger, center, who provided musical entertainment, with record producer Billy Mann, left, and Suzanne Wright
Dr. Eric London and Karen London at the Fire and Ice Ball.
From left, honorees Peter Gerhardt, Suzanne Wright and Bobby Valentine