Eddie Guardado Foundation and ACT! Today to Host Inaugural OC Suitcase Soirée With 100% of Proceeds to Benefit Children with Autism


Eddie Guardado Foundation and ACT! Today to Host Inaugural OC Suitcase Soirée
100% of Proceeds to Benefit Children with Autism

Newport Beach, CA – Get ready to jet away for the weekend! The Eddie Guardado Foundation is encouraging guests to arrive with their bags packed to the inaugural OC Suitcase Soiree, which will benefit children with autism. 

Winners of the opportunity drawings will leave John Wayne Airport for one of the three vacations that depart directly from the party, which will be held near the runway at the Lyon Air Museum (19300 Ike Jones Dr., Santa Ana, CA 92707) on Friday, September 20, 2013, 7 to 11 p.m.

100% of event net proceeds will benefit the Eddie Guardado Foundation, which supports the direct service program of ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!). ACT Today! is a national non-profit providing care and treatment to children with autism and support and assistance to families. The Foundation provides iPads, used by children with autism to help communicate, and helps pay for various therapies, safety devices, and provide other support services. Lisa and Eddie Guardado have been able to help nearly 300 families since the Foundation’s inception in 2008.

With the guests expected to arrive in dressy casual attire, party-goers will check their luggage at the door so that a customized luggage tag can be engraved while they attend the party. Ultimat Vodka will have “Flight Attendants” and “Captains” serving drinks from drink carts like the ones used on commercial airplanes and stationary bars, while guests will dine at food stations from OC's finest restaurants and caterers including: Bluewater Grill, Maggiano’s, Newport Rib Company, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Pacific Club Catering, Sensitive Sweets, Sweet Creations by Judy, The Winery, and Zov’s Bistro. Entertained by live music, party-goers will also be able to participate in silent and live auctions, and enjoy specialty drinks provided by Ultimat Vodka.

Lisa and Eddie Guardado, former MLB relief pitcher who was just inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame this June, will be co-hosting the event with Katie and Ryan Dunlop.  The event committee includes: Jo Ashline, William Cernius, Trish Coury, Laura Marroquin, Jennifer and J Ocana, Debbie Redmond, and Michelle Volner.

“When our daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with autism, we realized first-hand the emotion and financial hardships that come with raising a child with autism,” says Lisa Guardado. “Eddie and I felt that it was really important for us to help other Orange County families that are impacted with autism.”

Silver Sponsors of the event include: Western National Group. Bronze Sponsors are Sandra and David Stone and Family. In-kind Sponsors include: Reaction Audio Visual, West Coast Air, Ultimat Vodka, Anaheim Helicopters, Matebele Limo.

Take Me Away Opportunity Drawing Trips:
  • First Prize: Private plane to Las Vegas for a fun filled weekend, returning Sunday! Includes 2 nights in a suite at the Aria Hotel, limo service to and from the airport. Dinner for two at Javiers and two tickets to Cirque Du Soleil’s Zarkana.
  • Second Prize: Private Helicopter to Santa Barbara for a relaxing weekend getaway. Returning Sunday! Trip includes 2 nights at the Bacara in a luxurious room with a fireplace, wine tasting experience and complimentary breakfast.
  • Third Prize: Limo to Los Angeles for a quick getaway, returning Sunday! Includes 2 night stay in a Deluxe Room at Beverly Hills Hotel. Dinner Saturday night and breakfast each day.

Live Auction Highlights:
  • A private plane to beautiful Napa Valley for a weekend of wine tasting. Includes 2 nights at the Meritage Resort, a balloon ride for two, upgraded tasting for two at the Trinitas Cellars and more!
  • VIP backstage at The Today Show, with a Tour of studio and meet and greet with Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker – Can be for 4 to 5 people. You may use this package in conjunction with the Today Show’s Summer Concert Series.
  • Dinner for you and 3 friends with Gretchen and Slade from OC Housewives and show creator Scott Dunlop at Hanna’s Restaurant.
  • Certified Admiral’s Cup Corum Men’s Watch with 18K Rose Gold Titanium Case, 18K Rose Gold and Titanium Bracelet.

Tickets are: $250 per person, includes 1 opportunity drawing ticket; $150 per person, incudes entry to the party; $100 per additional opportunity drawing – can only be used with entry ticket;  For more information or for tickets: www.ocsuitcasesoiree.org or 714-442-3535

About 1 in 88 children in America have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and Orange County in particular has an unusually high prevalence of autism diagnoses, including statistics from 2011 that show we have the highest autism rate in California. Further, recent numbers show that more than 8,600 children in Orange County are being served by Special Education departments in public schools.

No one other than families dealing with the diagnosis knows how difficult and financially draining it can be to raise a child with autism. Irvine resident Linda Bertch can attest to the challenge – she is a mom to four children, including 14-year-old Andrew who has been diagnosed with autism. To complicate matters and add to the financial stress, Linda suddenly lost her husband last year.

The Bertch family was given a grant by the Eddie Guardado Foundation and Andrew subsequently received an iPad that worked “miracles” according to Linda, “He’s doing amazing things I never thought he could.” Andrew works with the iPad on speech therapy, which has allowed for greater communication as he is forming short sentences for the first time in his life. He also uses it with ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy, is able to play games with his siblings that he never could before, and the family has a schedule on the iPad which has helped decrease Andrew’s frustration and aggression. 

Major League All-Star Pitcher, Eddie Guardado and his wife Lisa established The Eddie Guardado Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) in 2008 after their youngest child, Ava, was diagnosed with autism. Lisa and Eddie understand the emotional and financial hardships families impacted with autism experience and founded the Eddie Guardado Foundation to help other families receive access to therapy and treatments that they could not otherwise afford.

In January 2011, The Eddie Guardado Foundation joined forces with ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), as both non-profits share the mission of providing awareness of and access to effective therapies for children with autism. Since their partnership began, the Eddie Guardado Foundation has enabled ACT Today! to provide an additional 100 grants to help children with autism achieve their highest potential. The organizations continue to collaborate together with Eddie and Lisa serving on the ACT Today! board. www.eddieguardadofoundation.org

Allison Olmstead – Allison@tomediaco.com or Jane Gillespie – Jane@tomediaco.com