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Black Tie White Coat Ball Raises $700,000 for Autism

April 3, 2008

Nearly 1,000 people partied the night away and helped raise $700,000 for autism research and treatment at Drexel University College of Medicine's Black Tie White Coat Ball, held March 29 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.

The gala was a fun-filled evening of music, dinner, and dancing, with a concert by the Village People and a special musical performance by the event's honorary co-chair Miss Pennsylvania Rachel Marie Brooks. Brooks, whose brother Brandon has autism, spoke of her family's personal experience and the improvements Brandon has made since he became a patient of the Drexel Autism Center.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the Drexel Autism Center, a clinical practice led by director Richard Malone, MD, professor of psychiatry at Drexel University College of Medicine, and a renowned autism researcher. Funds will also help accelerate the pivotal work of the Drexel University College of Medicine Autism Consortium — a unique and highly experienced group of scientists and clinicians from various disciplines, including psychiatry, pediatrics, pharmacology, and biochemistry — all of whom have dedicated their research efforts to solve the autism puzzle.

Today, one in 150 children is diagnosed with autism, making it the fastest-growing disability in the United States. There is no means of prevention and no cure.

The Drexel University College of Medicine Black Tie White Coat Ball is one of the biggest health care fundraisers in the Philadelphia region, and has twice been recognized as "Best Event" by the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.