It’s Autism Awareness Month, and Deen’s Living a Life Without Limits with UCP-OC

Deen and Knobby
Deen and Knobby

As you know, September is Autism Awareness Month. But did you also know that 33% of children served by UCP-OC have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum? UCP-OC helps children, like Deen, with autism spectrum disorder to achieve their full potential and provides important services and support for their families.

Deen has been receiving childcare services from UCP-OC for a year and it has made a huge difference in his life, as well as his mom’s. He is autistic and completely deaf on one side, and also suffers from high anxiety and sensory integration disorder. These challenges make most activities much more difficult for Deen, including school and social interaction. UCP-OC’s Inclusive Childcare program helps Deen and his service dog, Knobby, to participate in an inclusive after-school program with the support he needs to be safe and thrive. This program provides great therapeutic and social benefits for Deen while allowing his mom, who is a single mother, to work full time to support them.

He is obsessed with the military and is going to be a fighter pilot and a captain when he grows up.  He also loves transformers, swimming, Star Wars, amusement parks, go karts, and anything active or athletic.

UCP-OC is proud to feature Deen in our upcoming annual report, which will be released later this fall. Keep an eye out for the report to learn more about Deen and his Life Without Limits.


A Year in Review

An Update from Our CEO

Cathy with firefighters CEO Cathleen Collins shares in this upcoming Summer Newsletter a review of this past year and celebrates the mark of UCP-OC’s 60 years of serving Orange County

2013 marks a special year as we celebrate our 60th Anniversary in Orange County, and the different core programs, people and events that have played a vital role in our organization. We are excited to reflect on the past 60 years and those who have made a difference this year to empower families and help children challenged with special needs to live a “Life Without Limits”.

Thank you to all of our donors who contributed to our Golf Tournament, Life Without Limits Gala and our Annual Fund Campaign. With your support we were able to raise more than $1.398 million this year!

October launched our fundraising season with our Annual “Autumn Golf Classic” and Brianna Cup Golf Tournament, chaired by Scott Pievac CEO of SPC Retail Display Group with lead sponsor Dana Dowers and DLD Insurance. Please Save the Date for this year’s tournament on Monday, October 21, 2013.

In March our support guilds ushered in spring with two spectacular events, the first a festive Fashion Show hosted by Psi Delta and the second a glamorous Casino Royale, hosted by the Sea & Sky Guild and chaired by Guild Founder and President, Linda Beresford.

On Friday May 10, 2013 we held our most successful Life Without Limits Gala to date. Honoring our 60th Anniversary and the philanthropic leadership of Michael K. Hayde. His example of community support and personal philosophy on giving back made him the perfect recipient of our UCP-OC Impact Award. We are very grateful for Mr. Hayde’s support of our organization and the children and families we serve. We are especially grateful for our many event sponsors including lead Life Without Limits Sponsor, The Argyros Family Foundation. For a complete list of event sponsors please see our upcoming newsletter.

UCP-OC is fortunate to have a team of skilled and professional therapists, administrative staff and program specialists who work tirelessly throughout our community. Our collaborative and coordinated children’s services strive to meet the comprehensive needs of families to ensure the support they need throughout a child’s life. This year many of our therapists and staff have spent countless hours outside of UCP-OC earning new certifications and accreditations to further serve the children that come to UCP-OC.

You can remain updated on the happenings at UCP-OC by following us on our Facebook, blog and even Twitter page!

Thank you for supporting our mission to serve the Orange County community and acknowledging the importance of the programs and services our organization provides. Please consider a gift to UCP-OC to support our Annual Fund this year. Annual gifts to UCP-OC help to ensure that every child in need of services receives help and supports critical infrastructure needed to provide excellent care and service. Most importantly, your support helps to ensure a Life Without Limits for every child with disabilities!

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Life Without Limits Gala 2013

What an event!!

Life Without Limits Gala 2013
LtoR: Gala Co-chair Michele Maryott, Gala Honoree Michael K. Hayde, UCP-OC CEO Cathleen Collins, UCP-OC Board President James Corbett and Gala Co-chair Matthew Maletta

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County marked its 60th year at our annual black tie Life Without Limits gala on May 10th at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.  Their 2013 Impact Award was presented to Michael K. Hayde, CEO of Western National Group, for his leadership in the community and exceptional vision and philanthropic support towards a variety of efforts supporting children and families.

The elegant black tie affair with a 50’s/Rat Pack Supper Club theme, was chaired by  Matthew Maletta, Allergan Vice President/Associate General Counsel and Michele Maryott, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Partner.  Honorary co-chairs and former Impact Awardees were Julia and George Argyros,  David Pyott and his wife Julianna and James V. Mazzo and his wife Kelly. 

Guests were greeted on the red carpet by child ambassadors from United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) which serves children with a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, Down syndrome and developmental delays. 

Once inside the ballroom, guests enjoyed a heartwarming message by teen ambassadors Reo Kobayashi and Brianna Pievac – who used an iPad to communicate with guests.  Azalea Ghotb then eloquently performed a perfect rendition Moon River on the piano to a standing ovation.

After a rousing live auction, UCP-OC Board President Jim Corbett presented Mike Hayde with the Impact Award.  The evening concluded with music and dancing to the Rat Pack sounds of the 1950’s by The House Band.

Event major sponsors include Argyros Family Foundation, Abbott Medical Optics, Fish & Richardson, Rancho Mission Viejo, The Dubia Family Foundation and DLD Insurance.

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County provides vital services that support families of children with disabilities to improve individual well-being from birth through early adulthood. For more than a half a century, United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County has helped children with a wide range of disabilities to lead a Life Without Limits and achieve their full potential and inclusion into society at all levels.

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Life Without Limits Gala Video

Upcoming UCP-OC Events!

WOD for Wyatt

  • Saturday, March 2nd
  • 11:00am-2:00pm
  • 22600 Lambert St.
    Suite 1203
    Lake Forest, CA 92603

For children with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy, simple tasks like standing, walking, and writing require hard work that takes them out of their comfort zone. To honor these children, we are proud to present the WOD for Wyatt – a CrossFit workout where all proceeds will help United Cerebral Palsy of OC provide therapy services to children in need. There are individual workouts and team/family workouts. For more information on the workouts and to register please visit legendary competitor. $20 Donation to Register! And free event T-Shirt.

Have a Heart for UCP: Fashion Show

  • Saturday, March 2nd
  • 10:30-1:00pm
  • Embassy Suites in Brea
    900 East Birch St.
    Brea, CA 

Sea & Sky Guild’s Casino Royale

  • Saturday, March 9th
  • 6:00pm-11:00pm
  • Crevier Classic Cars
    365 Clinton St.
    Costa Mesa, CA
  • $125 per ticket

The Sea and Sky Guild of United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) will present their Evening in Monte Carlo Casino Royale Fundraiser on Saturday, March 9 at Crevier Classic Cars in Costa Mesa.  An evening highlight is honoring Afshin Aminian, M.D. with the organization’s Humanitarian Award. Dr. Aminian is the Medical Director CHOC Children’s Orthopaedic Institute and an internationally renowned pediatric orthopaedic surgeon who offers invaluable medical expertise and support to children with disabilities at UCP-OC.

Life Without Limits Gala 60th Anniversary Celebration

  • Honoring Michael K. Hayde
    CEO, Western National Group
  • Friday, May 10th
  • 6:30pm
  • Balboa Bay Club & Resort
    1221 Coast Highway
    Newport Beach, CA
  • $250 per ticket 

Come spend an evening with us as we celebrate our 60th Anniversary while honoring Michael K. Hayde. Spend an evening with our UCP-OC family and donors as we raise money for the children and families that we serve throughout Orange County.


  • Sunday, May 5th
  • Newport Beach, Fashion Island
  • Join us at the Water Station to cheer on our Team Jake Runners
  • Join Team Jake & walk or run for all the children served by UCP-OC and to celebrate Jake Robert

Life Without Limits Gala 2012 – through the eyes of a child

Annual Life Without Limits Gala 2012 – through the eyes of a child

David Pyott, Gavin Herbert, UCP-OC CEO Cathleen Collins and Honoree James V. Mazzo
Assitant Emcees Reo & Brianna with James Mazzo

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County’s Life Without Limits Gala was a major success with 370 guests and net proceeds estimated at over $425,000.  Held on April 28 at the Balboa Bay Club, the beautiful black tie gala honored James V. Mazzo, President of Abbott Medical Optics with the Impact Award for his community leadership and ongoing support of families of children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

A major announcement connected with Mazzo’s vision and support was United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County’s Cortical Vision Impairment Early Intervention Program in affiliation with The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at UC Irvine scheduled to open in fall 2012.

The gala theme, Through the Eyes of Child, was reflected with children ambassadors welcoming guests and by live performances by children with disabilities including the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra Ensemble Chamber Players. As guests entered the ballroom they were welcomed with many faces of children that make up UCP-OC.

Gala Co-chairs Matthew Maletta & Michele Maryott

Honorary co-chairs and former Impact awardees included Julia and George Argyros along with former David Pyott and his wife Julianna. Gala committee co-chairs were Michele Maryott, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Partner and Matthew Maletta, Allergan Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Secretary.

United Cerebral Palsy’s CEO Cathleen Collins shared her personal story of raising a daughter with disabilities and expressed her appreciation of the many healthcare professionals in attendance.

During the Cash for Kids Without Limits, United Cerebral Palsy supporter Bonner Paddock – who has cerebral palsy – announced a $100,000 matching gift through his OM Foundation.

Top auction items included a night at the Grammy Awards that generated $10,000, two Angels dugout suites were sold at $11,000 each and two dinner parties for 12 with Sapphire Grill Chef Azmin Ghahreman each brought in $5500.

Azalea, a teen who attends UCP-OC, invoked a true standing ovation in response to her beautiful piano piece.

From the moment guests were welcomed by the children ambassadors,  to the cookie endorned with a thank you note and a picture of a child the evening was magical. Guests entered the beautifully decorated ballroom,  The event also had a candy bar, photobooth (enjoyed by many), opportunity drawingsdined on delicious meal, filled their bags at the candy bar and photobooth (enjoyed by many)

UCP-OC introduced itself as an organization through a video comprised of CEO Cathy Collins, Dr. Simpson a principle investigator in our new vision program, board members and two influential families at UCP-OC.

To view more pictures please watch our slideshow!

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Life Without Limits Gala: through the eyes of a child

Our Life Without Limits Gala is next week!

When: Saturday, April 28th 2012

Where: Balboa Bay Club and Resort, Newport Beach

Why: This is our key fundraising event of the year! Come and support our organization and children with disabilities.


Our Annual Gala will be held next Saturday, April 28th at the Balboa Bay Club and Resort. The evening will start at 6:00pm with a cocktail reception, followed by a dinner and live auction as well as music and live entertainment.

UCP-OC will honor James V. Mazzo, President of Abbot Medical Optics, for his resounding leadership and for supporting our collaborative efforts to bring about the United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County Early CVI Screening Program Collaboration with The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute of UC Irvine. The Vision Program is aimed at improving the diagnosis and rehabilitation of infants at risk for vision complications associated with CP as well as premature infants at risk for cortical visual impairment and decreased central vision resulting from prematurity.

It’s not too late to sign up!

Make sure to check out our sneak peek of our Live Auction items on the website (link above)

We wouldn’t have been able to put on this amazing event if it wasn’t for our many sponsors!