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Ante up for Autism

TACA's Glen and Lisa Ackerman

Imagine living in a world where no parent has to hear the words, “Your child has autism.” This was the mission of Talk About Curing Autism’s ninth annual Ante Up for Autism gala held November 7 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. The event raised over $500,000 for the efforts of the Irvine-based national nonprofit to educate, empower and support families affected by autism.

“Ante Up for Autism is our biggest fundraiser of the year. This year, KROQ came in as a major sponsor for the first time, which helped us exceed our fundraising goals,” said TACA founder Lisa Ackerman.

The Monte Carlo-styled guests, who included celebrities, poker pros, and Orange County philanthropists such as Leyla Milani, Manny Khoshbin, Jonathan Schaech, Nicholas Gonzalez, Mark Thompson, Jim Everett, Nicky Whelen, Kate Voegele, David Marciano, Leti Coo, Ronni James Hughes, Lonie Paxton and Tim Conway Jr., received cocktails when they arrived at the venue – not to mention chips in anticipation of mock full casino and poker tournament. Several top poker pros, including Kenna James, were seated at the final poker table, but the first prize went to an Orange County novice, Kate Jahangiri.

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