Spectrum Designs, Nicholas Center to host annual gala

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This year's Night in White Gala will be July 25. (Photo courtesy of Spectrum Designs)

Spectrum Designs Foundation and Nicholas Center are hosting their ninth annual Night in White Gala on July 25, which will support their initiatives for individuals with autism.

The event will be at North Hempstead Country Club, beginning with a VIP reception at 6:30 p.m. that includes an auction, dinner and dancing and then continuing into the main event at 7:30 p.m. 

Stella Spanakos, Nicole Sugrue and Patrick Bardsley founded Nicholas Center and Spectrum Designs as paired initiatives, with the former offering educational and support services and the latter offering employment opportunities.

A year after Spanakos’ husband, Paul Kitsos, died, the team held the first gala.

“It is a celebration of his life, which financially allowed us to create the Nicholas Center and Spectrum Designs Foundation,” Spanakos said. “Every year we honor and celebrate a family that has helped us achieve our goals.”

This year, the gala will honor Manhasset’s King family, which has supported Spectrum Designs from the outset.

Nicholas Center offers services for youths, teens and adults such as pre-vocational services and a summer program for teens that includes work training and practice with social and communication skills. It is named after Spanakos’ son Nicholas, who has autism.

“Yes, my son had serious deficits and behaviors, but he was amazing on a smartphone or computer,” Spanakos said. “I wanted more for Nicholas and his classmates.”

Spectrum Designs offers jobs making T-shirts for individuals with autism, and its clients include Google and ABC.

Gala tickets range from $175 to $395.

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