South Florida Autism Community to Gather for 2015 UM-NSU CARD Tropical Nights Gala

Annual Event Will Honor Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho and School Board Member Raquel Regalado

The University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) will host its 13th annual Tropical Nights gala on Saturday, May 9, at 7:00 p.m. at the InterContinental Miami hotel.

Tropical Nights is the premiere event to raise funding and awareness for autism in South Florida.

Housed in the University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences’ Department of Psychology, UM-NSU CARD is a state-funded resource and support program dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism and related disabilities including deaf-blindness and pervasive developmental disorders. CARD provides services to more than 8,500 individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families each year.

At Tropical Nights 2015, CARD will honor Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, with the CARD Community Leadership Award. School Board Member Raquel Regalado will receive the Cruz-Whitehurst Advocacy Award. Under their leadership, the Miami-Dade County Public Schools have implemented a comprehensive program serving children with autism in the district.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to recognize the lasting impact both Superintendent Carvalho and School Board Member Regalado have had on enhancing educational programs, services and outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorders,” said CARD Executive Director and Professor of Psychology Michael Alessandri.

Tropical Nights is expected to bring more than 500 guests together for an evening of fine dining, silent and live auctions, dancing to the sounds of popular DJ 1 Tre (also known as Michael Marino), and a performance by Reid Soria of Autism Sings. This year’s chairs are Brett Feinstein of Stratton & Feinstein, P.A., and his wife Jennifer.

The event theme is “Siblings,” focusing on the relationships between individuals with ASDs and their brothers and sisters. The featured artist is 11-year-old Bruno Page; his work, “Tropical Ocean Life,” which was created especially for the event, will be part of the live auction.

The annual Tropical Nights raffle features a fabulous trip to Las Vegas, including a three-day, three-night stay at Caesar’s Palace or Planet Hollywood and round-trip airfare. Raffle tickets are $25 each, or five for $100. The drawing will take place at the Tropical Nights event, but winners do not need to be present. Click here to purchase tickets.

Tropical Nights is locally sponsored by Bacardi USA, Greenberg Traurig, Hogan Lovells, the Dan Marino Foundation, the Paul J. DiMare Foundation, Mastec, Dadeland Mall, the Coral Gables Bar Association, and many other organizations. Media sponsors include Brickell Magazine and Key Biscayne Magazine.

All proceeds from Tropical Nights directly benefit CARD families and the professionals who work with them in the South Florida autism community.

For more information on this Tropical Nights, please visit www.cardtropicalnights.org or contact Michelle Costa at 305-284-5269.

April 27, 2015