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Firefly Autism Raises over $1.2 Million Dollars for Autism Support

Last night, Denver’s highly anticipated event, Laugh Yourself Blue lit up the evening at The Denver Art Museum. Tears were shed, laughs were had, and lives were changed. At its 12th annual fundraising gala, Firefly Autism received $1.2 million and counting in funds benefiting individuals with autism, their families, and the local Denver community.

One of the biggest supporters of Firefly Autism, Max and Elaine Appel, donated $300,000 ensuring that the organization has a home in their incredible Lakewood facility for years to come.

Lifetime Windows was named title sponsor of the event for generously providing Firefly Autism with a host of needed repairs and upgrades for their facility, as well as additional funds contributing to the annual cost of the School-Age Program and supplemental services needed to maximize success, totaling at $100,000. This year’s Firefly Luminescence Community Impact Award was granted to none other than Jesse Ogas, Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Engagement at 9News. As former CEO of Firefly Autism, Ogas worked tirelessly for years to raise awareness and provide support for those with autism. His enthusiasm and passion for his work have been an inspiration to many in the community, making him a deserving awardee. Entertainment for the night did not disappoint. With comedian, JR De Guzman lighting up the stage with laughs. Alongside many other top name guests, including HGTV’s Rico León.

“As I look around the room, I am so proud to share what this organization has done and continues to achieve. Right now, we have programs that serve individuals on the autism spectrum of all ages, of all abilities, and their families and communities,” said Dr. Amanda Kelly, Firefly Autism’s CEO.

2023 is a year of milestones for Firefly Autism. The nonprofit is honoring its 20th anniversary and celebrating women with Dr. Amanda Kelly, as the first woman named as President and CEO of Firefly Autism in over a decade. The organization is now guided by a leadership team of women focused on diversity, equality, and inclusion.

Firefly Autism is proud to say that its gala was a huge success thanks to generous donors who recognize the importance of supporting individuals on the autism spectrum, helping them to achieve greater independence through quality care and education services provided by Firefly Autism every day!

About Firefly Autism Firefly Autism is Colorado’s leading non-profit organization providing resources, programs, and services for individuals on the autism spectrum dedicated to celebrating their lives through learning, support, and solutions since 2003. By incorporating the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with trauma-informed care, person-centered planning, and neurodiversity affirming practices, Firefly Autism has helped thousands of individuals from the ages of 18 months to 70 years and over. Firefly Autism embraces our learner’s differences, values them for who they are, and seeks to equip them with the skills and tools they need to navigate their world.