The New Albany Women's Network's first fundraiser of 2014, An Evening in New Albany on March 1, will benefit Helping Hands Center for Special Needs of Columbus.
"To become a beneficiary, there's an application process, like a grant process," said Carol Argiro, development director for the Helping Hands Center.
Argiro said the Helping Hands Center submitted an application and NAWN representatives visited the center at 2500 Medary Ave. in Columbus to learn how it helps students with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Argiro said the center has three psychologists on staff who can work with parents on diagnoses. The center incorporates all types of therapy in the schooling it provides, she said.
"We are a center with a mission to serve the educational and therapeutic needs of children with autism and other developmental disabilities," Argiro said. "Some of our children are diagnosed with multiple things."
The center uses music therapy for all children, in individual, one-on-one and small group sessions. It also organizes a choir.
The Helping Hands Center has 97 students enrolled, 87 with diagnoses and 10 without disabilities, Argiro said. It offers early-intervention programs and schooling for pre-kindergarten to seventh grade, and also offers therapy for children schooled elsewhere.
She said funding from An Evening in New Albany will be earmarked for scholarships, going first to single parents.
Tuition costs between $20,000 and $35,000 annually, with an average tuition cost of $28,000, according to the Helping Hands Center's website.
Abby David, co-founder and co-director of the center, said in a press release the money will help minimize out-of-pocket expenses for families, which she estimated at between $5,000 and $8,000 per family.
Last year's An Evening in New Albany raised $34,000, which went into the New Albany Women's Network endowment fund, held by the New Albany Community Foundation.
This year's theme is Mardi Gras and the fundraiser will feature music by New Basics Brass Band and a Cajun-style buffet.
Masks will be on sale and guests who purchase raffle tickets will receive beads.
An Evening in New Albany starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Winding Hollow Country Club, 6140 Babbitt Road in New Albany.
Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at NAWN.org.