It wasn't too hard to find Kevin Connolly among a handful of NHL players at Sutra in Costa Mesa Saturday night.
He was the shortest, but he was also the most prominent celebrity during a charity benefit for Talk About Curing Autism. The actor, best known for his work as Eric "E" Murphy on Entourage, was very personable and cooperative during a pre-event reception for the inaugural Ryan Getzlaf Golf Shootout.
But then again there wasn't that much media to deal with at the event. It appeared as if the Daily Pilot was the only newspaper there, not that there are much of us around anyway.
Regardless, this night wasn't about media, or cameras flashing at a red-carpet entrance, or big-time hockey players. It wasn't about Connolly. This was about autism, known to many as the silent epidemic.
Connolly is a big fan of hockey. He also has a close friend whose son is autistic. Autism, a neurological and biological disorder, affects one in every 91 children, according to TACA's website, which also states an estimate of over 1 million people in the U.S. have it. The epidemic hits home for me too. My daughter, who is 6, is autistic and was born Down syndrome.