Manzos and Lauritas Use “Autism Awareness” to Sell Blk and Draw Customers to Cafface; Is Blk “Giving Back” the Way Signature Apparel Was Supposed to Give Back to the Susan G. Komen Foundation?
The Manzos and Lauritas are using autism to sell blk. On April 5, 2013, they teamed up with House of Sports to “to knock-out autism.” In addition to signage for blk prominently featured at the event, there were plenty of cases of blk stacked in the gymnasium with “generation rescue, hope for recovery” and “blk is giving back” printed on the bottles. Registrants at the event were required to make a $10 “donation.”
How is blk. “giving back,” as indicated on the bottle? Is Blk Beverages LLC giving back the same way the Laurita’s now bankrupt company, Signature Apparel LLC, was supposed to give back to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation? On June 22, 2010, the Komen foundation filed a “proof of claim” against Signature Apparel Group, LLC in the amount of $18,000 for failing to honor a marketing agreement. According to Faux Reality Entertainment:
“The marketing agreement stated that Signature Apparel was to pay the Susan G. Komen Foundation 10% of sales on certain shirts with pink logos and/or insignia for a guaranteed donation of $18,000. Signature Apparel failed to make the guaranteed payment to Susan G. Komen Foundation. In fact, what the Susan G. Komen Foundation did not know is that Signature Apparel was being stripped of all its assets; and less than two months after entering into the marketing agreement with the Komen Foundation, creditors asked the courts to stop Signature Apparel from defrauding further creditors.”
Albie Manzo @AlbieManzo 3 Apr
Come join me and the rest of RHONJ @houseofsportsny this fri to Knockout Autism! $10 donation to register Call 914-479-5419 for details!
Retweeted by Chris Laurita
The @houseofsportsny teaming up with @AlbieManzo @chris_manzo @chris_laurita @JacLaurita to raise Awareness for Autism was outstanding.
7:38 PM – 5 Apr 13
houseofsports @houseofsportsny 5h
Amazing event at the house of sports with the real housewives of nj! Lets all wrk together to knock-out autism.
houseofsports @houseofsportsny 8h
@blkbeverages and @AlbieManzo in the House!!!! @JacLaurita and cast in route!!! pic.twitter.com/gDWg2zaXub
Jacqueline Laurita @JacLaurita 4 Apr
RHONJ will be there! XOXO! “@houseofsportsny: HUGE weekend at HoS! Starts 2morrow w/ Knockout Autism & C u there! pic.twitter.com/vrRtFJ8vgX”
houseofsports @houseofsportsny 4 Apr
HUGE weekend at HoS! Starts 2morrow w/ Knockout Autism & @JacLaurita @melissagorga @AlbieManzo & Co. C u there! pic.twitter.com/3l4gd4VJuQ
Albie Manzo @AlbieManzo 4 Apr
Crazy excited for tomorrow!!! @houseofsportsny team has been awesome to work with. Come help us raise money for @genrescue!!!!
juliusmichael @JuliusMichael 4 Apr
Who’s coming out to meet #RHONJ & support autism awareness @houseofsportsny tomorrow at 6:00pm $10.00 donation @KathyWakile @melissagorga
Retweeted by houseofsports
Also under the guise of charity, Lauren Manzo is promoting the one year anniversary of her beauty bar, Cafface. Throughout April 2013, if you come into Cafface, Lauren will give you blue hair extensions for a $10 donation to support autism.
Jacqueline Laurita @JacLaurita 30 Mar
I’m coming in today!! XOXO! “@Cafface: Autism Unites Us… Come to Cafface the whole month of April!!!
Cafface Beauty Bar @Cafface 30 Mar
Come to Cafface the whole month of April to support Autism! Blue hair starts today!! #autismunitesus
Cafface Beauty Bar @Cafface 30 Mar
you don’t have to make appointments for the blue hair! Just come on in
As for their son Nicholas, Chris Laurita says, “He keeps progressing, and then regressing, but he’s doing so well. We’re really happy with his progress. He’s a great little boy.” – People magazine, April 5, 2013
In the September 3, 2012, issue of People Magazine, Jacqueline announced that Nicholas is autistic, and she said that once he began to speak, Nicholas would always say, ‘I love you Mommy’ but, at 18 months, he stopped saying ‘I love you.’ She reiterated this at the season 4 reunion when Andy showed a montage of Nicholas as a perfectly normal child. The montage ended with a voice-over of Nicholas telling his mommy that he loves her, which, according to Jacqueline, he isn’t able to do anymore because he has ‘regressed’ and doesn’t really speak too much these days. Jacqueline was downright hysterical by the end of the segment — she sobbed (without tears) into her hands while Caroline Manzo consoled her, assuring her that Nicholas would be able to say those words to her again one day.
“Obviously our son’s diagnosis is out in the open now. It’s nothing we were ever ashamed of; we only wanted to respect our child’s privacy, since we had not received an actual diagnosis yet. We wanted a diagnosis and a treatment plan in place first, so that people couldn’t speculate on what his issues were before we ourselves actually knew and got a handle on what it was ourselves. Taking care of our child’s needs is obviously a huge priority in our lives, so we would be addressing it on the show, however, it will be addressed with the intentions of bringing awareness to Autism, and to help people to understand and relate to the challenges that we go through as parents, as we works towards to recovering our child. I’m not comfortable, however, with making a spectacle out of my son, so I would hope that Bravo would be sensitive and respectful regarding how they present and expose him in front of the camera. I have faith that Bravo will be sensitive to the matter because they did respect our wishes last season and did not focus primarily on my son while he seemed to regressing and slipping away. Bravo respected that it was an extremely sensitive issue that our family was dealing with, and we are very grateful and appreciative of that.”
In an August 9, 2011 article (the same month Nicholas was diagnosed with autism) published by Wyckoff-Franklin Lakes Patch (Manzo-Laurita Family Strikes Black Gold With Blk), Albie Manzo made claims that blk. helped an autistic child:
Manzo admits he was skeptical of the claims at first and he doesn’t quite understand the science, but the more he drinks it — he downs a bottle a day — and the more he hears from satisfied customers, the more he believes in blk. One case in particular, he told Patch, has really assured him of the product’s potential: A mother gave her autistic son blk. to drink, thinking its unique color might get him drinking more water. The boy not only drank it, he loved it, but the amazing part, he started behaving. The mother reached out to Albie, shocked, who sent her two more cases to try. Her son is stimming less and listening and following directions more. The difference, she told Manzo, is unbelievable.