Little Star Center celebrated its 10th anniversary and the grand opening of the expansion of its Carmel center with a VIP celebration on Friday night and a public open house on Saturday. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard attended the Friday night event, marking the occasion with an official Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony.
Special guests included parents of former, current, and future learners; Amy Gudal Groshell, founder of Little Star Center; board members; representatives from the Autism Society of Indiana (ASI) and Answers for Autism Indiana (AAI); staff and significant others; Carmel Chamber of Commerce board members, and members of its Membership Committee and Ambassadors, and City Council members; center office park neighbors; and even Newbury, the Canine Companion for Independence (CCI) belonging to board member Michele Trivedi.
Ritz Charles catered an elegant array of heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts, Oberer’s prepared lovely flowers to complement those provided by Ritz Charles, Valet Parking, Inc. provided outstanding valet parking service in the pouring rain, pianist David Meek tinkled the ivories beautifully, and Bradbury Photography offered great entertainment with a photo booth and props so that guests would leave with a fun memento of the event. Allison Moore, a therapist with Little Star, won the raffle, taking home a 55” RCA Flat Screen LED HDTV!
Saturday dawned sunny and dry. Families enjoyed a castle bounce house; hot dogs and chips; face painting by Hugabug; balloon twisting by Abracadabra; books by Usborne Books, information from AAI and ASI, and the ever-popular photo booth by Bradbury Photography.
“It meant a lot to us that Amy (Gudal Groshell) joined us Friday night,” said Mary Rosswurm, executive director. “It is because of her and Steele that Little Star exists. I was so excited to show her the new center and have her meet the staff and parents. I think she was proudto see all the growth the center has had over the past 10 years. They created a legacy that has impacted countless Indiana families who have been affected by autism.
“It was so nice that Mayor Brainard was able to join us and officiate our ribbon-cutting ceremony. I think our guests really enjoyed themselves both Friday and Saturday. The weekend events went very smoothly thanks to our great staff; the center is a work of love for many of us. Next up, planning a December holiday party for learners and their families, complete with Santa and reindeer!”