LONG ISLAND CITY – “Today, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day,” Carnival of Love Foundation Co-founder and President Dennisia Slabakis told The National Herald, adding that two of the blue custom-made, puzzle-piece skylines that were put up last year, were lit again on April 1, one on 30th Avenue and one on Ditmars Blvd. and will be lit all month, as part of “the Autism Speaks ‘Light it Up Blue’ global campaign that we are taking part in this year again.” Slabakis also noted that “the Arch of Hadrian in Athens is blue tonight (3rd year in a row) as well.”
It was through the efforts of the Foundation that Greece participated in the campaign for the first time in 2016, then again in 2017, and this year, too, lighting the famous monument at the foot of the Acropolis.
The United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day shines a bright light on autism in support of Autism Speaks! Thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings join the hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the world to ‘light blue’ in support of people living with autism. Events and educational activities take place all month to increase understanding and acceptance and further support people with autism.
Slabakis also told TNH about the Carnival of Love Foundation’s upcoming 10th anniversary celebration. The event takes place at Melrose Ballroom, 36-08 33rd Street in Long Island City, on Friday, Apr. 27, 8 PM, with an exciting night of Spanish Flamenco. Proceeds from the event will directly fund the Foundation’s current, and future, programming, and support our efforts in opening a Healing Arts Community Center for families living with autism and other special needs. The event will include: DJ Sava, live music/Spanish guitar, Flamenco Show, live entertainment, casino, photobooth and more. The event also includes a live musical performance by groundbreaking artists with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Special thanks to Olympia Milonas- Musical Director, DJ Sava- Mylos Entertainment, Benjamin Giroux- Poet, Kyle Baptista- Singer, and Spiro Cardamis- Musical Composer. Tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door.
More information and advanced tickets are available online at: carnivaloflove.org.
“Founded in 2008, The Carnival of Love Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit charity, dedicated to bringing community, love and joy to the lives of children and families living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and other special needs in our local community.
“As a completely volunteer-based organization, we’ve been blessed to have raised about $600,000 over the past 10 years from a dedicated network of family, friends, donors, and small business owners, located in, and around, New York City; the trust, support and loyalty exhibited by this community, has given us both the strength, and ability to do the work we do, and has led us to this special moment in time, our 10-year Anniversary!”
Among the Foundation’s vital community programs is the Divine Liturgy and recreational program for families with individuals with ASD and other special needs, hosted in partnership with the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Astoria, held on the first Saturday of every month at St. Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, 22-30 33rd Street in Astoria.
More information about all the Carnival of Love Foundation’s programs is available online at: carnivaloflove.org.