‘Lonesome Dove’ actors to reunite at autism benefit

Organizers of next month’s Pegasus Ball at the Fairmont have managed a mini-Lonesome Dove reunion.

Oscar winner Robert Duvall, who played Augustus McCrae in the TV film, will attend, and Barry Corbin, who played Deputy Roscoe Brown, will serve as celebrity host.

Rodeo star Larry Mahan will emcee the gala benefit for the Autism Treatment Centers of Texas.

via ‘Lonesome Dove’ actors to reunite at autism benefit | Dallas-Fort Worth Entertainment News and Events | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News.

Middle school student with Down syndrome to lead Buddy Walk in memory of camp counselors

Garden City, N.Y., seventh-grader Matthew Castellano will lead The National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk Sept. 25 that starts in New York’s Central Park. He’ll be with NDSS Ambassador John C. McGinley (from TV’s “Scrubs”), Chris Burke (from “Life Goes On), and others.

Matthew attends Camp Anchor, a Long Island town camp for youths and adults with a wide range of disabilities. Every camper at Camp Anchor (which stands for Answering the Needs of Citizens with Handicaps through Organized Recreation) has an individual counselor. Three young Anchor Camp counselors were killed in a car crash on their way to work July 15 — and Matthew and his group will be walking for them in the Buddy Walk.

Matthew and his group hope to raise $3,000 in the Buddy Walk.

The NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society) has chosen Matthew Castellano, to be this year’s “Self-Advocate Ambassador” for the New York City “Buddy Walk” in Central Park. Matthew is a 7th grader at the Garden City Middle School and attends Camp Anchor in Lido Beach, NY. Matthew and his team will be walking for his beloved camp Anchor staff counselors, Michael Mulhall, Jamie Malone and Paige Malone who were in a fatal car accident on July 15th, 2010 on their way to Camp Anchor. He will lead the walk along with celebrities, John C. McGinley from the TV show “Scrubs,” Chris Burke from the former TV show “Life Goes On” and several others. Together they will salute the amazing event participants who have raised money and awareness in support of individuals with Down Syndrome.

Help kickoff the NYC Buddy Walk in Times Square where 200 photos of individuals with Down Syndrome from all over the world were selected from thousands of photo submissions for the 2010 NDSS Times Square Video. The Times Square Video will be shown on the “MTV Plasma Screen.” NDSS will provide transportation from Times Square to the NYC Buddy Walk site at “The Great Hill” in Central Park.

via Middle School Student To Be “Self Advocate Ambassador” | www.gcnews.com | Garden City News.

Down syndrome stories shared on “My Great Story”

The National Down Syndrome Society has a fantastic new web feature, My Great Story, that tells the stories of some of the 400,000 people with Down syndrome living in the U.S. – often in their own words. There’s a place on the site for people to continue to share more great stories. Here’s the beginning of one of the stories, written by Sara Wolff of Pennsylvania:

Sara Wolff, The Public Speaker

Moscow, PA

My name is Sara Wolff. I am 24 years old and My Great Story is about my Public Speaking.

I’d first like to share a little bit about myself with you. I definitely have something unique about me—and that is an extra 21st chromosome, called Down syndrome… which, by the way, has never stopped me from doing anything!

I don’t think of myself as having “DOWN” syndrome but “UP” syndrome because I am an upbeat and positive person. I have been raised with the motto “Never” say “Never” and the words “I can’t” don’t exist.

via National Down Syndrome Society – Sara Wolff, The Public Speaker.

TV programs about autism, Alzheimer’s to be honored

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences – also known as the Emmys – this week will honor eight TV programs, including “Unlocking Autism” and “Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? With Maria Shriver,” about children whose grandparents have Alzheimer’s.

TV academy honors 8 TV shows ‘with a conscience’

LOS ANGELES — A “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” episode about prejudice and an Alzheimer’s documentary with Maria Shriver are among eight programs to be honored Wednesday for demonstrating the power of TV.

The third annual Television Academy Honors spotlighting shows found to exemplify “television with a conscience” will be hosted by Dana Delany. The announcement was made by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Presenters were scheduled to include former Vice President Al Gore, Joel Grey and Shriver, the first lady of California and former NBC News correspondent.

via The Associated Press: TV academy honors 8 TV shows `with a conscience’.

Lindt Gold bunny celebrity auction for Autism Speaks

Lindt USA  announced April 1 that it is helping to kick-off National Autism Awareness Month by launching an online auction of celebrity-signed Lindt Gold Bunny porcelain figures, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Autism Speaks.  Lindt will auction off porcelain versions of the iconic Lindt Gold Bunny, each autographed by a different celebrity, at www.ebay.com/LindtGoldBunny.

via Lindt USA Unveils Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction Benefiting Autism Speaks, Press Updates.

Rodney Peete: ‘Not My Boy!’ Facing the trauma of autism diagnosis

In “Not My Boy!”, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete writes about dealing with his son R.J.’s autism. After meetings with teachers and appointments with specialists, the Peetes were soon given their son’s devastating diagnosis: “We think your son is unteachable,” “He’s never going to be able to look you in the eye” and “He’ll never be able to tell you he loves you.” After a period of anger and denial, Peete joined his wife, actress Holly Robinson Peete, in her efforts to help their son.

via ‘Not My Boy!’ Facing the trauma of autism diagnosis – Family and health.

Holly Robinson Peete: 8 Facts About Autism the Media Is Not Covering

Autism mom Holly Robinson Peete has a great post in the Huffington Post about the things that don’t always grab headlines — things like race, puberty, marital status… read on:

Over the years many parents have reached out to me for emotional support after their child was diagnosed with autism. I particularly remember getting Jenny McCarthy’s phone call shortly after her son’s diagnosis. Like most moms and dads, she needed to connect with somebody who knew first hand the swift gut-kick of this difficult diagnosis, somebody who had been in the trenches for 7 years already.

via Holly Robinson Peete: Shifting Focus: 8 Facts About Autism the Media Is Not Covering.

Autism: Cornell coach finds special inspiration for NCAA tournament run

ITHACA, N.Y. — The text message arrived on Cornell Coach Steve Donahue’s cellphone minutes before the Big Red upset Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It was a message from one coach to another: “If you don’t dream to become a champion, you won’t become a champion.”

The coach was not one of Donahue’s college basketball contemporaries. It was Jason McElwain, a 21-year-old volunteer junior varsity assistant coach from the Rochester, N.Y., area. McElwain spent Selection Sunday with the Big Red and has corresponded with Donahue ever since, sending Donahue messages during the 12th-seeded Big Red’s NCAA tournament run to the East Region semifinals, where it will face top-seeded Kentucky in Syracuse, N.Y., on Thursday night.

“If J-Mac says dream it, then that’s all I’m going to think about,” Donahue said. “We can do this, and we’ll see what happens.”

McElwain, who is autistic, became a national story four years ago when he scored 20 points in the final four minutes of a high school basketball game in Upstate New York. He was featured on national news programs, won an ESPY award and met President George W. Bush.

Donahue and his wife, Pamela, watched a television feature on McElwain after the 2006 game. They both cried. One of their four children, Matthew, has a form of autism. Donahue also has a brother with mental disabilities.

via Cornell Coach Steve Donahue finds special inspiration for NCAA tournament run – washingtonpost.com.

Sardi’s Night benefits the Alzheimer’s Association

Celebrities sing show tunes to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association at A Night at Sardi’s, an annual Beverly Hills fundraiser. This year’s event was hosted by Seth Rogan, who told the audience that his girlfriend’s mother has Alzheimer’s, eonline’s Party Patrol reported.

Here’s more on the event from the Alzheimer’s Association:

Night at Sardi’s is an annual musical revue and gala held in Beverly Hills, Calif. to benefit the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Laurie Burrows Grad founded this event 18 years ago in honor of her father, the late playwright Abe Burrows.

To date, A Night at Sardi’s has raised close to $18 million in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Celebrities participating in the 2009 event included Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes, Melina Kanakaredes, Katey Sagal,Victor Garber, Peter Gallagher, Swoosie Kurtz, Molly Sims, Ken Howard, Sharon Lawrence, Vicki Lewis and Chelsea Handler.

via Sardi’s Night benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association.

Golfer Ernie Els wins for autism

DORAL, Fla. — This is one time the party got started without Ernie Els.

As he walked off the 18th green with a four-shot victory in the CA Championship, ending the longest and most discouraging drought of his career, some well-heeled friends were at cocktail party up the road at PGA National to get ready for a tournament no less important than the World Golf Championship that Els won at Doral.

The Big Easy spent Monday playing and hosting the “Els for Autism Charity Pro-Am,” with a lineup of stars that included Jack Nicklaus, Steve Stricker, Raymond Floyd, Adam Scott and Robert Allenby.

His goal, as ambitious as winning the career Grand Slam, is to raise enough money to build a 2,800-square-metre centre in Palm Beach County that eventually would be self-sustaining and treat some 300 children who have autism.

That would include his son, seven-year-old Ben, with his big blue eyes and blond hair.

via The Canadian Press: Els picks up a crucial win for himself and for his cause.