Over one hundred people attended the ICare4Autism– a partner of Shema Kolainu Hear Our Voices- benefit for autism research and education last Thursday night at Inglot Cosmetics in the Chelsea Market Place.
Autism is a disorder that affects 1 in 88 children and is marked by non-verbal tendencies and repetitive behaviors. Last night’s benefit was intended not only to raise money for the cause, but also to raise awareness.
Guests included Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel, who spoke at the event, Ms. New York 2012 Jeanette Josue, and former New York Giant Roman Oben.
The event featured artwork created by the students of Shema Kolainu. The pieces were auctioned off to the attendees, with proceeds going to the school.
Art therapy can be very helpful for autistic children given its hands-on, visual nature. Studies show that art therapy improves communication and verbal skills, two things children with autism often struggle with. Furthermore, students can use this artwork to cultivate creativity and a sense of individuality.
In total, five one-of-a kind pieces were sold, this highest one selling for $250. Roman Oben’s wife Linda, was also nice enough to buy some art.
Israeli author and guest of honor Lihi Lapid, also received a piece of artwork done by a Hear Our Voices student. ICare4Autism CEO and Founder Dr. Joshua Weinstein presented her with the art which included a plaque honoring her on behalf of the students. Lapid had visited and toured the school earlier that day.
During the benefit, she read from her latest novel, “Woman of Valor,” which describes her experience as a parent of an autistic child.
“She reminds herself that she’s doing the most important job anyone can do,” Lapid reads. “She’s a mother.”