02.13.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Autism Speaks Hosts Young Professionals Fundraising Event on February 16

This Thursday, 300 of New York’s young professionals will descend upon Avenue lounge in Chelsea to raise funds and awareness for autism and autism research. Aimed at Manhattan’s 25-40 year olds, Thursday’s annual event was initiated by Amanda Niederauer, daughter of NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer and Autism Speaks board member Alison Niederauer. Their son–and Amanda’s little brother–Liam, is autistic. Seeking a way to create broader and deeper support amongst her peers, Amanda, along with friends Danny Ryan and Justine Benisch, founded the annual Autism Speaks to Young Professionals event, which made its debut in 2009.

Avenue in Chelsea is this year’s venue for the Autism Speaks to Young Professionals annual event.

“A lot of Autism Speaks’ events are high profile and are very expensive to get into–$1,000 and up per ticket–so with this Young Professionals event, we wanted something that is really geared towards younger people, so that they could support the cause early on, and build that relationship with us early on,” Patrick Johnson, Associate Manager of Special Events, told Markets Media Lifestyle. Currently, the Young Professionals committee consists of Amanda Niederauer, Danny Ryan, and 32 others from a wide range of professions and industries.

In previous years, the young professionals event was hosted at the NYSE; last year’s event sold-out and hosted nearly 1,000 people. This year, the group plans on exuding the same spirit of fun and glamour, but in a very different setting. With its old-school Hollywood looks–wood paneling, cast-iron chandeliers, and dark, heavy drapes, Avenue Lounge gives this year’s event a new spin, with cocktails, music, and hors d’ouevres (Markets Media Lifestyle will be covering the evening, too). It’s an appealing way to fundraise, and with admission tickets starting at $100, plenty of New York’s young professionals won’t hesitate to snap up a ticket or two. For those in a more generous mood, a VIP Package option is available: $5,000 provides six admission tickets, one reserved table, and one premium bottle.

In the midst of all the revelry, however, stands the mission: to build relationships with young professionals and raise funds to be allocated for research into cause, prevention, treatments, and, possibly, a cure for autism.

Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. To purchase tickets for this Thursday’s event, visit Autism Speaks to Young Professionals, or contact Patrick Johnson at 646-843-6673, or at patrick.johnson@autismspeaks.org.

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