Event Recap

VIP Champagne Toast

Event host Bruce Dall (President of Motor City Casino) introduces event co-chairs for the VIP Champagne Toast: Dave Meador (DTE Energy), Raj Nair (Multimatic) and Mark LaNeve (Ford Motor Company) 

Gavrlil Polyntsev

Friend of Autism Alliance of Michigan, Gavrlil Polyntsev, performed on stage during the General Reception. 

General Reception and Silent Auction

Over 700 Gala attendees enjoyed the General Reception held in Sound Board Theater. Guests browsed the 80 plus silent auction packages, captured memories in the TapSnap photo booth, and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks while pianist, Gavrlil Polyntsev, performed on stage.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Dinner began with a welcome from Michigan’s Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, followed by Vice Chairman & Chief Administrative Officer of DTE, Dave Meador.

Dave Meador - Event Co-Chair

Dave Meador, co-founder of AAoM, shares his family’s personal journey with autism. 

Dr. Colleen Allen -- President & CEO of AAoM

Colleen Allen shares the impact of AAoM over the last 10 years and how we can continue to make a difference for individuals with autism.

Employee with a Bright Future Award

After dinner, Devin Scillian of Channel 4 News welcomed the crowd and introduced the three Michigan Shines for Autism Gala Champions’ Award Honorees. The first award went to Dan Kosinski for “Employee with a Bright Future” and was presented by Mark LaNeve, VP, U.S. Marketing, Sales & Service of Ford Motor Company, and his son Drew LaNeve.

A Safe and Happy Home

The second award, “A Safe and Happy Home”, was awarded to the Webber family and presented by Raj Nair, President & Chief Operating Officer of Multimatic, and Armani Williams, the first Nascar Racer with autism.

Strength and Critical Supports Award

The last award of the evening was given to the Teunissen family for “Strength and Critical Supports”, presented by Steve D’Arcy, co founder of Autism Alliance of Michigan.

Live Auction Fun!

Chris of Christopher’s Auctions kicked off the live auction, which raised over $30,000 alone! 

Champions' Night Afterglow

The night ended with the Champions’ Night Afterglow sponsored. Hosted by AAoM’s Young Professionals Board, Your Generation in Concert performed on stage while guests enjoyed late night snacks, open bar, and a prize pull game.