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Press Release:


FAU’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities to Host ‘Wings of Hope’ Charity Reception
Event to Honor Benefactors Marleen Forkas, Unicorn Children’s Foundation

            BOCA RATON, FL (March 15, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) will host the second annual “Wings of Hope” charity reception on Saturday, April 9, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., at the Marleen and Harold Forkas Alumni Center, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. A VIP event will take place preceding the reception from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. All proceeds from the charity event will benefit CARD’s services to families and schools in the region.

The event will honor FAU benefactor Marleen Forkas, as well as the Unicorn Children’s Foundation.  FAU CARD recently received a specially equipped van as a gift from the Unicorn Children’s Foundation, which serves as a mobile assessment clinic by bringing FAU CARD professionals to various locations throughout Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast to provide free screenings to children, ages 18 months to 5 years old, who present signs of autism and other developmental disabilities. Forkas pledged $10,000, made in memory of her husband Harold Forkas, to provide multiple-year support of the van’s operating costs.

“We are most grateful to the Unicorn Children’s Foundation and to Marleen Forkas for their generous gifts,” said Jack Scott, FAU CARD’s executive director and principle investigator. “This event is an even further extension of the Center’s gratitude, and a great way to celebrate the positive impact our services have on the community.”

FAU President Mary Jane Saunders; Joe Eppy, member of the FAU CARD Constituency Board; Glenn Stein, member of the FAU CARD Constituency Board; as well as FAU Board of Trustees member Robert Rubin also will be in attendance.

Along with the reception, there will be live music and a silent auction.  Tickets for the event cost $125 per person or $225 per couple.  Tickets for the VIP event, including the charity reception, cost $500 per couple. Sponsors for the event include Eppy Financial Group, Inc.; Glenn Stein; the Advanced Rheumatology Center; and the Slomin Family Center.

Housed in the College of Education, FAU CARD, one of seven such centers in the state, currently has a caseload of 2,000 clients, most diagnosed with autism or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) such as Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD). Providing an array of supports to families and schools and acting as a clearinghouse of information, FAU CARD reflects a strong belief in early intervention. The focus of FAU CARD is to optimize the potential of people with autism and related disabilities by enabling them to learn, work, communicate and socialize.

For more information, to purchase  tickets or to become a sponsor, call Kyle Bennett at 561-297-3052 or, or visit .

- FAU –

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University , established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites.  FAU's world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges : the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science .  FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity  institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  For more information, visit .

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