Autism Speaks and New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA) joined together last night for “The Winter Ball for Autism” — a star-studded event set against the breathtaking backdrop of The Metropolitan Museum of Art that raised more than $3 million towards both organizations’ efforts to develop innovative research, programs and services for individuals affected by autism.
Guests who walked the “Blue Carpet” in support of the autism community included Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey; Tennessee Senator Jim Tracy; Grammy-award winning singers and songwriters Michael Bolton and Kelly Rowland; actress and singer Holly Robinson Peete; Martha Stewart; Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black’ star Danielle Brooks and members of the cast; the Harlem Gospel Choir; Brooklyn Nets Point Guard Deron Williams; and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York star Fredrik Eklund.
Hosted by Brian Williams, the managing editor and anchor of the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, and special guest Allison Williams of HBO’s hit series Girls, The Winter Ball brought together a diverse group of guests who enjoyed dinner and an auction. The evening culminated when vocalist Christopher Duffley, a young boy who is blind and on the autism spectrum, delivered a stunning performance of “Lean on Me” with back-up vocals by Kelly Rowland, Michael Bolton and the Harlem Gospel Choir. Watch his performance below. –Joi Pearson @joiapearson