Saturday, September 25, 2021

Special Needs Network’s 14th Annual Gala

*Kim Whitley used her home to aid the SPECIAL NEEDS NETWORK’s (SNN), a non-profit dedicated to the aide of children with Autism hosting SNN founder Areva Martin, Esq., board members of the non-profit along with 300 invitation-only guests at her private estate at the organization’s 14th Annual Evening Under the Stars Gala fundraiser. This year’s Gala was set to benefit and raise awareness for the new autism center set to break ground at Martin Luther King Hospital in South Central Los Angeles.

Smooth entertained the crowd during the 14th Annual Evening Under the Stars Gala fundraiser.

Whitley’s sprawling estate stretched wide handling a lush buffet and multiple beverage bars, while she remained modest regarding her entertainment industry success, preferring to focus on family as well as the most important reason for the affair, children with autism. 

Kim Whitley

Whitley also serves as a board member for the SNN and served up her unique blend of comedy that spanned from fat jokes to deadpan political humor, all the while accenting her punchlines with her beaming smile and comical facial expressions. 

Sherri Shepherd

Sharing the trait of well-timed facial expressions, Sherri Shepherd acted as the host, and once again proved why she deserved her shine in the comedy spotlight by delivering an excellent round of jokes that highlighted the good that the Special Needs Network and the facility being built at the MLK Hospital complex.

In the Fall of 2020, California’s first-ever clinic for children living with autism and other developmental challenges is scheduled to be completed.   

Areva Martin, Special Needs Network founder, children’s rights advocate, and Harvard civil rights attorney.

Martin called The Child and Family Well Being Center “a dream come true many years in the making.” 

Guests included LA County Supervisor the Honorable Mark Ridley Thomas, actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, TV personality Shaun Robinson, State Senator Steve Bradford and 9th District City Councilman Curren Price, veteran comedian Garrett Morris, Caroline Rhea, Grammy-nominated recording artist MAJOR, Kiki Shepherd, Denise Nichols, and award recipients Judge Greg Mathis and his wife Linda, Dr. Randy W. Hawkins, and actress and disability rights activist Lauren “Lolo” Spencer. 

Actress and disability rights activist Lauren “Lolo” Spencer.

For more information on the Special Needs Network, go to

A writer, illustrator and photographer.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -