The Victory Center 15th Annual Gala

Guests rolled the dice for the students of The Victory Center at the “Monte Carlo Casino Night”

Gala Chairs Betty Shan and Rhonda Hill

The Victory Center for Autism and Related Disabilities held its 15th Annual Gala, “Monte Carlo Casino Night”, at the Diplomat Resort and Spa, Hollywood Beach, Florida. The students won big with loyal supporters showing their generosity by raising over $250,000 for the educational programs and services offered at The Victory Center such as Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention, Intensive Behavioral Intervention, The Victory Pre-Academy, The Victory Academy and The Victory Vocational Program. In addition Community outreach programs: The Saturday Laugh ‘n Learn program, Saturday Teen Activities and Recreation (S.T.A.R.) program and monthly parent trainings will also benefit from the funds raised at the “Monte Carlo Casino Night.”

Emcees Anthony Canzonetta and Michael Precourt of The Autism Channel charmed and entertained guests with their comedy and movie lines. The Palm Beach Post describes these two young gentlemen as the “Siskel and Ebert of film critics on the autism spectrum.” Guests of the event included prominent members of the accounting, banking, real estate, building, and legal communities as well as members of south Florida foundations. Attendees from the event come from South Miami to West Palm Beach.

Emcees Anthony Canzonetta and Michael Precourt of The Autism Channel

This year’s event included a video of the past, present and future of The Victory Center. Representing the past portion of the video were Co-Founders, Barry and Judi Nelson, from 2004 speaking of how their dream of The Victory Center became a reality. The present portion of the video showed students and teachers of The Victory Center working on specific skills that each program focuses on. The video then ended with the future showing what is to come: the renderings of The New Victory Center in 2017.

Dr. Peter Gerhardt was this year’s honoree. He was honored and presented a plaque of appreciation with every student of The Victory Center’s photo displayed on it. Dr. Gerhardt also sits on the Advisory Board of The Victory Center and has over 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with autism in educational, employment, residential, and community-based settings.

The Super Silent Auction included a trip to Koh Sumai, Thailand, an Azamara Cruise to anywhere and Grammy tickets. As is tradition at the annual gala, Teachers inspired guests to purchase items from the “Wish List.” Guests showed their strong support and commitment again this year with almost every item being purchased. Silent auction items were a hit with a variety of items including a trip to Playa Hermoso, Costa Rica and various retail and dining items. Guests showed their spirit of giving with competitive bidding for a great cause.

Co-Founders Judi and Barry Nelson with Honoree Dr. Peter Gerhardt

Guests also enjoyed entertainment provided by the beautiful voice of Liz Loughrey and the talented Adrian X. Liz Loughrey has recorded in studios throughout the U.S., Canada and London. She is also a multi-instrumentalist specializing on the Piano. Adrian X is a Grammy award winning songwriter and guitarist and has toured alongside Drake, Kylie Minogue, Nelly Furtado and Serena Ryder.

The mission of The Victory Center is to provide outstanding evidenced based educational services to individuals with autism and related disabilities in a caring and nurturing environment to help them achieve their fullest potential. The students of The Victory Center receive a 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1 education with applied behavioral analysis (ABA). ABA is an evidenced based therapy based on the principals pioneered by B.F. skinner.

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