My dearest TACA friends –

It’s PICNIC time again, my favorite TACA event of the year!!  TACA is happy to announce the 8th annual family picnic Sunday, June 12th at Camp James (next to Wild Rivers) in Irvine, California.  This fun-filled day is designed specifically for kids affected by autism, and their families and friends.

The one-of-a-kind TACA picnic features an amazing array of food (including gluten-free, casein-free), fun carnival-like activities for kids, (including a dunk tank where daring folks over 18 can don a “TACA target”)*, 3 kid- friendly bands, a vendor resource fair and a silent auction to help raise funds to support the over 25,000 families we serve.

Eight years ago, a creative TACA mom proposed a family picnic just for families with autism – a day when families could be themselves, not worry about tantrums (or dirty looks), eat allergy free foods, and play and laugh with other families “just like us” in a fun and safe environment. For my family, this was the first picnic we ever attended. The sense of community belonging we so desperately craved was restored as we enjoyed the day with many new family friends.

Since that first picnic in 2004, The TACA Family Picnic has grown from 900 to close to 1500 people, and has become a Southern California family summer tradition.  For my 14 year-old son Jeff, and other brave kids living with autism, it’s a day to be happy-go-lucky, to dance, laugh, and play with good friends, typical or not.  It is a day with mothers, daughters, fathers, uncles, grandparents, sisters, brothers, and family friends who have all been touched by autism.  For at least this one day, we are all connected.

The most beautiful part of the day is seeing the children – after a year has gone by – and to witness their amazing improvement. Each year so many kids are getting better. Their stories will melt your heart and restore your faith in miracles!!

Best of all?  A family of four can get in, eat and play for less than one ticket to a major theme park.

For those of you already registered – I can’t wait to see you there!  For those of you who aren’t – what are you waiting for! To register: http://www.tacanow.org/store/home.php?cat=283

Until the 12th,

Lisa Ackerman

For more information:

TACA Family Picnic Info page: http://www.tacanow.org/events/taca-family-picnic/

Watch a short previous picnic event video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EGtNsJ78S8

*Dunk tank restrictions apply.  All participants must sign a waiver.  Bring a change of clothes!

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