Yampa Valley Autism Program’s Masquerade Ball returns April 1 | SteamboatToday.com

Yampa Valley Autism Program’s Masquerade Ball returns April 1

Teresa Ristow
Attendees take part in the Yampa Valley Autism Program's 2016 Masquerade Ball. The annual event returns April 1.

2016 event

Click here for a video from the 2016 Masquerade Ball.

— Bellydancers, acrobats, live and silent auctions, gourmet food and an open bar — all enjoyed by masked Steamboat Springs community members?

It must be the Yampa Valley Autism Program’s Masquerade Ball, back for its ninth year April 1.

The event is the Yampa Valley Autism Program’s signature fundraiser and supports all of the organization’s important programs for children and adults on the autism spectrum, including therapy, school programs, respite care, teen social coaching and family support, among many others.

While it’s expected that people on the autism spectrum, their friends and family will attend, organizers are eager to invite anyone in the community to take part in the fun, even if they know nothing about autism.

“I would love to reach people who don’t know anything about autism,” said Rosanne Iversen, a Yampa Valley Autism Program board member with an adult son on the autism spectrum. “There’s a lot that people don’t know.”

Iversen said while autism is something that affects a person for their lifetime, many services beneficial to people on the autism spectrum aren’t covered by insurance.

“We’re a small town, but we’re able to offer some phenomenal services,” Iversen said.

Yampa Valley Autism Program Executive Director Lisa Lorenz said she’s been pleased to see awareness about the autism spectrum become more mainstream, pointing to a new Sesame Street Muppet on the autism spectrum, as well as the blue Power Ranger in an upcoming movie.

“We want people to understand the value of people on the spectrum,” Lorenz said.

The “April Fools Masquerade” runs from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday, April 1 at the Colorado Mountain College Neas Dining Atrium, 1275 Crawford Blvd.

Among the silent and live auction items is a Moots bicycle that will be assembled by Orange Peel, valued at more than $7,000, as well as about 60 other items.

Entertainment will include a performance by the Jasmir Bellydance Troupe, acrobats, jugglers, magicians, music and dancing.

Tickets are $75 and available at yampavalleyautism.org.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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