I hit this year's Rescue Our Angels fundraiser again, where Chi-town girl, former MTV personality Jenny McCarthy hosted the fifth-annual event, which featured a cocktail party and silent auction, at Billy Dec’s Rockit Bar & Grill in River North.
Proceeds from the event go toward helping children with autism get treatment they may not otherwise be able to afford. Last year’s event, held at the Grossinger Autoplex, raised $85,000. Festivities at the Rockit, made for a tighter, more intimate setting than the previous year's soiree at the sprawling car dealership.
Marisa Buchheit (Miss Chicago 2012), Keeley Sawyer (Miss Teen Chicago 2012), and Mattie Mozella (Miss Chicago’s Outstanding Preteen 2012) each crashed the party to lend their support and increase awareness. The ladies posed for pictures with patrons and helped to sell raffle tickets to the admiring crowd.
Rescue Our Angels was founded in 2008 by Michele and Peter Doyle in honor of their daughter Caelan, who was stricken with autism, a developmental disorder that usually occurs in the first few years of life. The disorder is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, as well as by restricted, repetitive behavior. Fortunately for the Doyles, their little girl, now 10, has achieved great strides.
Speaking from the stage, alongside her husband, Michele doted that Caelan was now performing commercials and giving entire oral presentations for the organization. "She’s awesome!" Michele gushed.
Several members of Caelan’s family, including her younger sister, and many of her former grade-school teachers were present to celebrate her accomplishments.
Although the exact number of children with autism is unknown, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 88 children has autism—over 60 percent of them boys. This rate has risen 23 percent since 2006 and 78 percent since 2002.
Unlike actor John Travolta, who has remained mum about his late son Jett's autism, McCarthy has lent her celebrity tirelessly to the cause. There are numerous stories online and in print, where McCarthy has spoken forthcoming about the struggles and triumphs of her son, Evan, who was diagnosed with autism in 2005. McCarthy is currently dating Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Tags: Autism, Autism Speaks, Billy Dec, Brian Urlacher, Caelan Doyle, Chelation, Chelation Therapy, Grossinger, Grossinger Autoplex, Jenny McCarthy, Jett Travolta, John Travolta, Keeley Sawyer, Marisa Buchheit, Mattie Mozella, Michele Doyle, Miss Chicago, Miss Preteen Chicago, Miss Teen Chicago, MTV, Peter Doyle, Rescue Our Angels, Rockit Bar & Grill