CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — One group hosted a gala tonight to raise awareness about autism.

The Champaign-Urbana Autism Network was at the City Center in Champaign. Their mission is to support people on the autism spectrum, their families, caregivers and more. They help provide opportunities for support and networking, education, all while promoting awareness and acceptance.

They had a special guest speaker tonight, Dr. Temple Grandin. Grandin is a scientist and animal behaviorist. She’s also on the autism spectrum.

“The thing about autism is if they get all the right things to try, they can a lot of times do some really great things,” Dr. Grandin said.

“We are here for families and individuals on the spectrum and educators if you have any connection whatsoever with autism we are here for you,” Julie Duvall, VP at CU Autism Network, said.

Money raised tonight goes to the group’s sensory friendly events, like their meet with Santa event. For more information on the groups, check out the links below.