The 27th Annual Abilities United’s historically successful fundraiser, Authors Luncheon, raised over $350,000 as of November 3, 2018.   The public is also invited to a post-Authors Luncheon sale at Books Inc. Palo Alto on November 29, 5-8 pm. Join book lovers for sparkling wine, chocolates and book buying to benefit Abilities United participants with developmental disabilities.

Events details are:
Thursday, November 29
5 pm – 8 pm

Books Inc.
Town and Country Shopping Center
855 El Camino Real, Ste 74
Palo Alto, CA 94301

The 27th Annual Authors Luncheon held on Saturday, November 3, was attended by nearly 500 community members from through out the Bay Area and featured a panel of renowned, best-selling authors including Palo Alto resident, Meg Waite Clayton, San Francisco children’s book author, Jim Averbeck, Pulitzer Prize winner Fox Butterfield, and San Francisco Chronicle columnist Vanessa Hua.

Event sponsorships, ticket sales, and the “Fund a Future” auction raised the revenue for Abilities United’s award-winning lifetime of services for children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

The audience was moved to donate over $120,000 at the Fund-A-Future auction after hearing

Megan Fletcher, a Palo Alto parent of an child with a developmental disability, eloquently and passionately tell her family story and shared how Abilities United services benefit her two sons and family.

The four author presentations followed Fletchers compelling story and the emotion-filled auction. Before and after the luncheon and presentations, attendees also had the opportunity to purchase the authors’ books, meet the authors, and have their books signed. The four authors were:

Jim Averbeck is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books. His featured book was Trevoran elegantly told, truly unique tale of a canary who befriends a lemon and finds that you don’t have to be two of a kind to form a meaningful and lasting friendship.

Fox Butterfield, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, spent much of his 30-year career reporting for The New York Times, and served as a bureau chief for the Times in Boston, Saigon, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing.

His featured book is In My Father’s House: A New View of How Crime Runs in Families, a hard-hitting examination of our nation’s crime and incarceration problem that looks at the influence of the family

Meg Waite Clayton, The New York Times bestselling author and book club favorite, resides in Palo Alto. She often puts friendship – in particular female friendship – at the core of her writing.  Her featured book is Beautiful Exiles, based on the volatile, real-life love affair of Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway.

Vanessa Hua is an award-winning author and San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Her featured book is A River of Stars, her powerful and entertaining debut novel about a pregnant Chinese woman’s life as an undocumented California immigrant.

Maureen Langan, an award-winning broadcast journalist and comic, served as the emcee. She can be heard every Sunday night hosting Hangin’ with Langan, a live, three-hour talk show on San Francisco’s premier radio station KGO. Maureen was a finalist in the San Francisco Comedy Competition. Her skills as a comic and journalist make her a popular contributor on the talk show circuit, including HLN, FOX and MSNBC. She is a frequent guest host on Cumulus stations across the country, including WABC in NYC. Her wit and shoot-from-the-hip interviewing style earned her the title of Best Female Commentator for her work on Bloomberg Television and Radio. She has dished with the likes of Howard Stern, Joan Rivers, George Carlin, Sandra Bernhard, and John Cleese.

Co-chairs of the 27th Annual Abilities United Authors Luncheon were Mary Kababov of Palo Alto and Paula Rini of Los Altos.

During its 27-year history the Authors Luncheon has raised overly $4 million. Funds are used to provide services to people with developmental and physical challenges through Abilities United’s services including Children’s and Family Services, Adult and Family Services and services for all ages and abilities. Since it’s inception in 1992, the Authors Luncheon has grown from 325 attendees to today’s dedicated audience of over 500 attendees.

The Abilities United art exhibit and silent auction, now in its 13th year as part of the luncheon and sponsored by Great American Framing Company of Palo Alto, showcased original works of art by artists of Abilities United who range in age from 3 years old to over 50 years old. These artists participate in all of Abilities United services. The 12 original works of art on auction are also featured in the Abilities United 2019 calendar. Nearly all the pieces of art sold at the auction with prices ranging from $50 to $350.

Since 2005, Abilities United has partnered with Books Inc., which sponsors the bookstore for the event. Margie Scott Tucker, co-owner of Books Inc., also sits on the Authors Selection committee, which vets and chooses the four authors to present and sign books at the luncheon. Books Inc. donates 20% of all book sales to Abilities United.

About Abilities United: Abilities United is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization for children and adults with developmental disabilities (mental retardation, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, and other neurodevelopmental conditions causing developmental delays) and other disabilities who live in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.  Each year, over 1,000 people and their families use the Children and Family Services, Adult and Family and services for all abilities including computer education, art program, and warm-water aquatic services.