Jacquelyn Jablonski by Driu & Tiago
Autism awareness is a cause close to Jacquelyn Jablonski‘s heart and the dedicated Ms. Jablonski continues to work towards raising awareness and support for children with Autism and their families. This evening Jacquelyn takes her work on step further bringing together many of fashion’s biggest names for a silent auction. On the eve of the festivities we catch up with the dazzling Jacquelyn to talk about her work as an ambassador for awareness and tonight’s spectacular auction.
When we spoke last you were just in the beginning stages of planning this event – what have you learned through this whole process of putting things together?
Jacquelyn Jablonski: For starters, I learned it takes more then a month! I remember I came to Milk last year saying I wanted to have an event at the end of April and it was already the first week of April. I had no idea the amount of work that went into an event! I met with Rassi and the Milk team straight after my last event and we have been planning since then. I was so thankful to have their support. I was really excited to make this year even bigger and better. We thought a silent art auction suited the gallery space perfectly.
What are some of your favorite items included in the silent auction?
JJ: Well… I am constantly looking for prints and art for my own apartment. I have a plan to do a collage wall behind my couch and sadly there is only one at the moment. So I will be bidding for SURE! I love a lot, it is hard to choose. It is nice that there is a great mix of fashion and personal projects. I love Patrick Demarchelier’s print – it is a large, black and white print of giraffes in the distance. I love Craig McDean’s print because you almost don’t understand what it is! It is some type of rose but I find it very striking. Sean and Seng donated a picture of me from our shoot in Rome hugging a dog on the dirty ground in Valentino. I’ve always loved this shot because I find it funny and it is a memorable one for sure. We had so much fun but it sadly ended with me having food poisoning all night. And of course, Steven Pan’s print of the Mom and her baby elephant because it brings me back to our trip to Thailand last summer. I could go on.
What has it been like for you this past year working with Autism Speaks?
JJ: Autism Speaks has been so amazing and so dedicated. I already started talking about this event before the last one even happened! I really wanted to have it during Autism Awareness Month, April, and I am so thankful they allowed me to be one of the first events to kick off the month! Since my last event, I have been attending many of Autism Speaks’ events and I have been learning a lot from them. So far my favorite was the Chef Gala. I was so happy I could bring my parents along – we had such a good time together, sampling food from some of the best chefs in the country, and it was incredible to see how much money they raised! It was nice to have them there and listen to other people share similar stories to ours. You really feel like you are not alone and realize there are others fighting to raise awareness like you. I was really inspired and hoped my event could be like this one day. Plus, I was envious how well their public speaking was! Thinking about it again is making me nervous for my speech tomorrow.
April is Autism awareness month, but the issue is important all year round – how can people get involved and help?
JJ: With continuous awareness, we can help these children look towards a brighter future. Autism Speaks has events all year round, all over the country! If you visit their website you can find out more information on events near you or to make a donation. It was so amazing to see everyone today through social media, wearing blue, and major landmarks “lighting it up blue” for World Autism Awareness Day. Little things like this help to raise awareness and express how serious this is!
Will your silent auction become an annual event – what are your goals or dreams for the event?
JJ: I hope so! I love the idea of continuing a silent auction. I think it is fun for people to “shop” knowing it goes to a good cause! Maybe each year I will mix it up a bit… I am open to new ideas! I just hope for it to become more and more successful. I want to raise as much money as well as awareness for a cause that means so much to me. I want to do this for these children, their families, and of course my brother Tommy. As of last week, the C.D.C announced 1 in 68 kids are diagnosed with autism. This estimate is 30% higher then reported in 2012. It needs our attention.