Anyone Can Be a Hero! Ted Brunson to Host Sixth Annual Autism Speaks Heroes Ball

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Chicago Chapter of Autism Speaks Encourages Locals to Attend Annual Fundraiser at Tavernita on Thursday, Nov. 14th

A study published by the Department of Health and Human Services indicates autism now affects 1 in 88 children, including 1 in 54 boys. More children will be diagnosed with autism than with pediatric AIDS, diabetes, and cancer combined. Autism prevalence figures are growing. Your help is needed, now more than ever, to help change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders.

The 6th Annual Autism Speaks Heroes Ball will take place Thursday, November 14th at Tavernita in River North. This annual fundraiser, created and produced by Legacy Marketing Partners, recognizes heroes from the local autism community and raises funds and awareness for the Chicagoland chapter of Autism Speaks. Local television personality and former WGN “Chicago’s Best” host Ted Brunson will emcee the event for the third straight year. Guests will enjoy a premium open bar, Scotch tasting, tequila sampling, silent auction, raffle, photo giveaway, and more. This year’s Chicago Autism Speaks Heroes of the Year are Kelly Breen, Colleen Shinn, and Jacqueline Russell.

Kelly Breen serves as Programs and Services Chairperson for the Autism Speaks to Young Professionals (AS2YP) Group. She is also a Speech Pathologist for Chicago Public Schools. Under Kelly’s leadership, AS2YP is successfully working toward making Chicago a more autism friendly city. Colleen Shinn is the Training Specialist and Manager of The Autism Program (TAP) Service Centers for Chicago and Rockford. Ms Shinn was instrumental in the planning and coordination of the Autism Speaks Early Access to Care Screening Initiative. Jacqueline Russell is Founder and Artistic Director for Chicago Children's Theatre. For 14 years, Ms Russell has worked as an artist in residence at Agassiz Elementary School, teaching drama to autism-specific classrooms through CAPE (Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education). Her work led to the creation of the Red Kite Project.

Heroes Ball tickets are on sale now for $110 each. The main event begins at 7:00 pm. Dress to impress and show your support by adding a blue accent to your attire. For more information about the Autism Speaks Heroes Ball or to purchase tickets, please visit or

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Today, it is estimated that one in every 88 children is diagnosed with autism, making it more common than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined. The definitive cause (or causes) of autism is not yet clear. For more information, please visit:

About Ted Brunson
Ted Brunson has been working in television for the past twenty years as an On-Air Personality, Host, Reporter and Producer. His most recent series was “Chicago’s Best” on WGN-TV, where he was Host and Co-Producer. In 2011, Brunson received a Midwest Emmy for “Outstanding Performance of Host” and the show also received an Emmy in its category. A natural at improv, Ted is best with no script simply because he feeds off of the energy of whomever he is interacting with. However, he has plenty of experience with scripted material, teleprompter, ear prompter. Teddy can be described as a “media chameleon,” adapting to nearly any situation and putting those around him at ease with his no-nonsense “everyday guy” demeanor. Whether it’s food, sports, human interest or corporate, he feels comfortable and relishes a new challenge. Teddy’s charity of choice is Autism Speaks. His son Reed is on the autism spectrum and Brunson has raised thousands of dollars for the organization as well as offered his time and talents as emcee for several Autism Speaks events. Recently, he was elected to serve on the Board of Autism Speaks – Chicagoland Chapter.

About Legacy Marketing Partners
Legacy Marketing Partners is an independent experiential marketing agency that inspires passion for brands by engaging people through integrated live and digital campaigns. Headquartered in Chicago, Legacy has 350 employees located in 30 markets nationwide. Follow us @LegacyMP640 or

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Michelle Gallagher
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