8th Annual Ray of Hope Gala
Benefiting Friends of South Florida Autism
Dr. Tamara Moodie, Executive Director, and Susan Leon, Development Director, Friends of South Florida Autism, Inc.

The 8th Annual Ray of Hope Gala to benefit Friends of South Florida Autism took place on Sat., November 19th at Jungle Island, where guests enjoyed a "tropical elegant" theme with a steel drum band while taking in the beautiful views from the Treetop Ballroom.

Guests included members of the local business, civic, and philanthropic communities, and professionals from the local autism community, as well as families of individuals diagnosed with Autism. One of the highlights of the night included a special performance by two South Florida Autism Charter School student's who performed "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" by Megan Trainor. Dr. Tamara Moodie, Executive director of FSFA, and also the SFACS Principal stated it "is important to include this performance so we can demonstrate to our guests the amazing potential of all our students."

The evening included a silent auction and live auction packages to New York and Napa Valley, and was a great success. Event revenues will support the capital campaign to build a new facility for South Florida Autism Charter Schools, Inc., and South Florida Autism Center, Inc. This facility will provide a school program for 300 students, as well as a wide range of community outreach services including early intervention, a therapy clinic, adult programming and job placement, out-of-school services, a family fitness center, and professional development opportunities.

To learn more about Friends of South Florida Autism, please visit www.friendsofsfa.org.

Student performers: Malik Johnson and Jessica Elbaz

Liliana Salazar, National Director of Special Education and Student Support, Academica Schools, Susan Leon, Dr. Tamara Moodie, Carrie Montano, Principal, Pinecrest Glades Preparatory Academy

SFACS staff members: Brittney Mejia, Marla Spann, Christopher Crooks, Jen Funez, Kristen Falepaini

Ben Pierce and Glenn R. Pierce, SFACS Board Chairman

Michelle Leon, Venise McCalla, Tanya Meekle, Natalie Yepman, Tracey Davis, Dr. Tamara Moodie, Toni Heim, Tamika McKoy

Eileen Sanchez, Mavel Russo, Susan Leon, Ileana Velazquez, Brenda Popritkin, Yrania Figueroa, Maria Cabrera, Ana Soto del Valle, Linda Guillen, Elisa Suarez, Vivian Mir

Dr. Tamara Moodie, Maria Celeste Arraras of NBC Universal/Telemundo, Susan Leon

Dr. James Nestor & Dr. Cicely Payne-Nestor

Dr. Yadira Martinez-Fernandez, SFACS Board Member, & Mario Fernandez

Eric & Carolyn Chase

Robert Cambo, Vice Chair of Friends of South Florida Autism, Inc., and Michael Cambo

Ben Pierce and Anne Pierce

Ryunosuke & Hiromi Iino from Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

Lisa Levine, Carly Wyler, Max Wyler, Chairman, Villages of South Florida Autism, Inc.

Lawrence Popritkin, Vice Chair, South Florida Autism Center, Inc., & Brenda Popritkin

Eileen Sanchez and Leo Creutze