Autism Alliance To Receive Jim O’Connor Community Service Award

The following is a press release from the Salute to Framingham:

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The Salute to Framingham committee is pleased to announce the 2018 recipient of the Jim O’Connor Community Service Award, given in honor of those who hold the passion, vision, commitment and leadership skills of the Salute to Framingham founder, Jim O’Connor. The honor is given to organizations who work as a team to serve the youth of Framingham.

On Thursday, March 22, the Jim O’Connor Community Service Award will be awarded to The Autism Alliance.

The Autism Alliance, a program of Advocates, currently lead by Executive Co-directors Allison Daigle and Pam McKillop, is dedicated to providing support, programs, and resources to families and individuals affected by autism spectrum disorders.

The Autism Alliance is celebrating their 25th anniversary and was locally founded in 1993 as The Family Voice by a group of six families with children with autism. These families recognized that although it would always be frightening for families to confront an autism diagnosis, it might not have to be so overwhelming. Thus, their transformation from a small, grassroots network into a multi-service, family support center was based on a desire to share with other families what the founding families had been learning from their own experiences in dealing with autism.

As one of the seven Autism Support Centers in the Commonwealth, and the only center of its kind in the MetroWest area supporting families living with autism, the Autism Alliance offers an array of supports and services designed to assist Metro West families caring for a loved one with autism.

Currently, in Framingham, over 200 families supporting a loved one with autism are served. The goal of the Alliance is to give families the knowledge to not only cope with autism, but also to flourish and grow. Among other things, they provide information and referral, support groups, family recreational events, school vacation activities, and culturally sensitive community events.

Across all programming, the Alliance serves more than 1,450 families and professionals annually, in 35 communities in MetroWest/Greater Boston, at varying levels of participation. Any family with a child with autism living in these communities can access services offered by the Alliance.

Additionally, the Alliance provides training tailored to various groups in the community. Over the past 25 years, they have trained more than 4,000 first responders, school nurses, business staff, teachers, hospital staff, students, clergy, recreation staff, store employees, and others.

The Salute to Framingham will take place on Thursday, March 22nd at 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Framingham Ballroom.

Online ticket sales begin February 1, 2018.

For more information about the Salute to Framingham, please visit our website at www.salute-to- framingham.com.

All proceeds from the Salute to Framingham benefit the Framingham High School Foundation which supports the extracurricular Activities, Arts, and Athletics at Framingham High School.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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