Did you know 1 in 57 eight-year-old schoolchildren in North Carolina may be diagnosed with autism? I had the honor to take photos for the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC) for their annual "Catwalk to Camp" fundraiser benefitting the Camp Royall scholarship fund. Camp Royall is the nation’s largest and longest operating autism specific camp, and offer recreational, therapeutic, and educational programming to more than 3,000 children and adults each year!
Before we kicked off the evening, we took a group picture of all the participants who were modeling in the fashion show. The models were past campers with autism, their loved ones, and ASNC staff. I remember one of the campers eagerly came up to me and said "it's really good to meet you!" and kept vigorously shaking my hand because he was so happy and excited! I then took a photo of him and his mother (see second photo) as well as photos for each family, and you can truly see the joy in their faces!
After the group photos, it was time for the event to begin. Renee Chou from WRAL kicked off the night and did a fantastic job emceeing the fashion show and the event. Then it came time for the key note speaker, Temple Grandin, one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Besides having a Ph.D, being a professor, writing books, and more, she is one of the most prominent spokespersons for autism. She shared her story and attribute a lot of her successes to her mom, who was a huge advocate for Temple and was the one to seek help for her. It was inspiring to say the least, and you can read more about her here. The Live Auction then took place and the auctioneer, Ben Farrell, did an outstanding job!! By the end of the evening, the ASNC raised over $170,000 for Catwalk to Camp!!
Below are some of the highlights from the evening, and you can visit this link to see the full gallery. Enjoy!