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Sergio Cocchia, Pacific Autism Family Network board chair and president/Crew Group of Companies president; and his wife, Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, Pacific Autism Family Network founder/Century Plaza Hotel and Spa CEO

More than $500,000 raised for B.C. families affected by autism

More than 1,000 community leaders and philanthropists attended the Pacific Autism Family Network Launch Holiday Luncheon at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver Hotel for the largest luncheon for autism in Canada’s history. The event, presented by Parq Vancouver, raised $513,000 for Pacific Autism families affected by ASD across the province.

The event began with a cocktail reception and silent auction bidding. Guests received a special LED green light-up necklace to highlight their generous contribution. Global BC news director, Jill Krop emceed the event ,and man about town Fred Lee conducted the live auction. The main prize included a three-night trip to L.A. with a VIP Jimmy Kimmel experience that sold for almost $11,000.

Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) is a first-in-North America charitable organization with a mandate to serve the lifespan needs of individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorder and all related disorders. Founded by parents Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia, with the goal of breaking down barriers to access across the province, PAFN has collaborated with over 60 organizations to bring together essential lifespan needs for those affected by autism, all within one network.

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David Patchell-Evans, GoodLife Fitness owner; and Sergio Cocchia, Pacific Autism Family Network board chair and president/Crew Group of Companies president

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Patrick Gosselin, Fairmont Vancouver Airport GM; and Lesliann Kuhn, Fairmont Vancouver Airport director of sales and marketing

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Ryan Beedie, Beedie Development Group president; and his wife, Cindy Beedie

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Laurie Guerra, Autism BC president; and Robin Dhir, Fasken strategic advisor

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Kevin Liminsang, Glacier Media Group (Eastward Media) VP client services; and Alvin Chow, Glacier Media Group VP national advertising

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Martina Meckova, Vancouver Police Foundation executive director; Jennifer Murtagh, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre Foundation Strategy Officer; and Simi Heer, Vancouver Police Department director of public affairs

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Diana Bennett, Paragon Gaming co-founder and chair; and Scott Menke, Paragon Gaming CEO

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Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, Pacific Autism Family Network founder/Century Plaza Hotel and Spa CEO, addresses the audience

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Sergio Cocchia, Pacific Autism Family Network board chair and president/Crew Group of Companies president, addresses the audience

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Diana Bennett, Paragon Gaming co-founder and chair, addresses the audience

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Tamara Vrooman, Vancity president and CEO, addresses the audience

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The MayDay Club Youth Choir for Neurodiversity performs

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Adam Palmer, Vancouver Police Department chief of police, addresses the audience

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Alexandra Samuel, supermom; Game Changer award winner VPD constable Jacque Abbott; and Game Changer award winner Adam Palmer, VPD chief of police

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Silken Laumann, Olympian and motivational speaker; and David Patchell-Evans, GoodLife Fitness owner

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Silken Laumann, Olympian and motivational speaker

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Award winner Adam Palmer, Vancouver Police Department chief of police; and award winner Sue Paish, LifeLabs CEO

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Justin Chen, Vancouver Courier/Glacier Media Group multimedia sales representative; Maureen Laventure, Vancouver Courier account manager; Paige Urquhart, account manager; and Bobby Safaei, Psyboos Entertainment Corp. founder/president

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Jamie Taras, BC Lions director community relations; award winner Dennis Skulsky, BC Lions vice-chairman; and George Chayka, BC Lions VP business

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Margaret Thomson, Djavid Mowafaghian Foundation treasurer; Elaine Stearman; and her husband, Fred Stearman, Atlas Cloud Enterprises Ltd. president

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Silken Laumann, Olympian and motivational speaker; David Patchell-Evans, GoodLife Fitness owner; and Amy Ballard, the Douglas Autograph Collection Hotels director of sales and marketing

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Fred Lee, CBC’s man about town and gala auctioneer; and Jill Krop, Global BC News director and station manager, and gala emcee

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Dr. Aggie Matusik, naturopathic doctor and supermom; and Martyna Gabrielson, supermom

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Game Changer award winner Louise Nagy, LifeLabs director of community engagement; and Jen Newsted, LifeLabs manager of community engagement