November 1, 2018  Irvine, CA

TACA’s 12th Annual “Ante Up For Autism” Event Exceeds Fundraising Goal to Provide Real Help Now for Families Affected by Autism


Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) is a national nonprofit organization founded in 2000 that helps families living with autism navigate the challenges of the disorder. This year marked the 12th anniversary of the annual “Ante Up for Autism” casino and gala event, which has become a Southern California tradition. The event took place at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach, California, on Sat., Oct. 27, 2018.

“A disability that was once rare, is now on the rise. The funds raised through Ante Up for Autism are critical to helping us address this growing need.  We confront the real problems families face caring for a child diagnosed with autism.  After being told all the things their child will never do, we give them hope for the “can do’s.”  TACA is the North Star for families.  We help them navigate through their autism journey,” Lisa Ackerman, TACA Founder and Executive Director.

Guests, sponsors, celebrities and poker professionals came together for a casino-themed fundraiser hosted by TACA. The event was made possible by title co-sponsors Happy Families and Josh and Courtney Ungaro. Co-presenting sponsors include Ira Hermann, CLU, ChFC, and Capstone Partners, Financial & Insurance Services, LLC. Money raised provides Real Help Now for families affected by this prevalent and underfunded disease. All proceeds benefit TACA families.

Notable attendees included author and socialite Manny Khoshbin, actress, model and socialite Leyla Milani-Khoshbin, poker professionals Kenna James and Michelle Lau, actress Nicky Whelan, actress and model Kim DeJesus, actor Johnathon Schaech, actor Joe Reitman, world champion surfer Lisa Andersen, and retired St. Louis Cardinals player Tim Shannon.


  • Almost 3 million people are living with autism in the U.S.
  • Almost 200 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism every day.
  • Autism now affects 1 in 59 children and adults — a dramatic increase from the 1970 rate of 1 in every 10,000 U.S. children.
  • More children are diagnosed with autism each year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined, yet the least amount of funding goes to researching this disease.
  • TACA supports over 55,000 families, with 650 new families added every month — a dramatic increase from 350 per month the previous year.
  • With early intervention and medical treatment unique to the individual’s needs, children with autism can make great progress and even recover from their diagnosis.

This year’s Ante Up for Autism event surpassed its fundraising goal, successfully raising over $700,000. Funds raised from this event will provide critically needed resources for the rapidly growing number of families affected by autism.

For more information on sponsorship or future events, please visit

About TACA

Talk About Curing Autism is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating, empowering and supporting families affected by autism. TACA’s aim is to shorten the cycle time from autism suspicion to effective treatments, thereby creating the best future possible for individuals living with autism. TACA helps to strengthen the autism community by connecting families and professionals with valuable information to greatly improve the quality of life for people living with autism. For more information about TACA or to get involved, please visit

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