Watch the Event!
By: SunHee Grinnell
It all started a couple of months ago when I sat next to Laura Slatkin, the founder of NEST Fragrances and co-founder of NEXT For AUTISM at a Fragrance Foundation event led by its resounding President, Linda G. Levy.
When Linda makes up her agenda to champion something for a good cause, or anything she sets her mind to for that matter, there is no fraying. The decision was made to partner with TFF 2019 Game Changer and now dear friend, Laura Slatkin, to give back to NEXT For AUTISM. On the night of October 30th, Linda and Laura announced the Power Pedal event and helped to put a spotlight on bringing about autism awareness and we all listened.
Laura Slatkin, who is timeless in her elegance, was on stage speaking about NEXT For AUTISM and the purpose of the foundation, a non-profit organization that strategically designs, launches, and supports innovative programs to improve the lives of people living with autism.
If you know Laura, you might be aware of her incredibly gentle and soft-spoken voice, but it resonates far. She has a propensity for touching people’s hearts no matter what she describes. That evening, when she began to speak of her beloved son David who was diagnosed with autism when he was just a few months old, and my heart broke. David has never uttered a word, and he is now twenty years old.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today, and NEXT for AUTISM exists to make a difference, to help children living with this developmental disorder.
When she announced the charity ride initiative in collaboration with The Fragrance Foundation, Power Pedal, I had to sign up. Even if one is not personally affected by it, it is usually only a few degrees of separation, and if one can help to make a difference even just a little bit, how wonderful is that? When I came home that night, I shared my eventful evening with my teenage son. He understood the gravity and the heartache David’s parents must feel. I asked him if he would join me in the charity ride, and I received a big yes with much contentment.
December 10th was the big night for our Power Pedal, which took place at AARMY Fitness Studio in SoHo co-founded by Trey Laird, with the ride led by the co-founder Akin Akman, who is insanely fit! It was a massive turnout with over sixty riders coming together for a cause and raising $500,000. At events such as these, I am always in awe of the fragrance community because when we come together, it’s pretty powerful. You know the saying, “go big or go home.” Well, we indeed went big, we were an army.