Aspire Spring Gala to Raise $20 Million in 20 Years

Special to the Times

Aspire is the world-renowned Lexington, Mass.-based program that helps children, teens and adults with high cognitive autism spectrum disorder and related profiles develop the skills necessary to be successful in their communities and workplaces.

Photo by Matt West
Aspire Spring Gala Committee David and Stephanie Long, Tim Sweeney, Ann Marie and Daniel Gross, and Kim and Eric Karofsky (left to right) with Aspire Executive Director Scott McLeod, PhD (fourth from left).

On Thursday, April 2, this highly effective, therapeutically-based program of MassGeneral Hospital for Children’s Lurie Center for Autism will host its 20th annual Aspire Spring Gala at Four Seasons Hotel Boston and will bring the total raised in 20 years to over $20 million.

For two decades, the Aspire Spring Gala has brought thousands of supporters together to make a profound impact on those on the autism spectrum, expand Aspire’s programs and assist more people in more places.

Longtime co-chairs Stephanie and David Long, Tim Sweeney, Terry and Tom Hamilton, Ann Marie and Daniel Gross, and Kim and Eric Karofsky see the twentieth year as a huge milestone.

“This year’s Gala promises to be an impactful one as we celebrate 20 years of this inspiring event and the opportunities it has made possible for young people on the autism spectrum,” said co-chair David Long, Chairman and CEO, Liberty Mutual Insurance. “It is incredibly exciting to be on the cusp of surpassing the $20 million mark in 2020 and continue to expand both the reach and impact of Aspire.”

Funds raised at the Aspire Spring Gala support Aspire programs, which include a summer camp for children, an Excursions and Explorations group for teens and an internship program for young adults.

“The Galas have enabled Aspire to develop more than 40 new programs for children, teens and adults on the autism spectrum and train nearly 4,000 people through the Aspire Works internship and neurodiversity training programs,” said Scott McLeod, PhD, executive director of Aspire.

The Four Seasons Hotel Boston will host around 900 guests at the special event, which is designed by longtime partner Rafanelli Events. The night includes a lively cocktail reception, dinner-by-the-bite, speaking program, spotlight video, and interactive key game with one-of-a-kind prize packages, including a wine touring trip to Napa and luxury box tickets to can’t-miss shows like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Maroon 5.

To be a part of the Aspire Spring Gala, visit for information and tickets.

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