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Mayor proclaims April 2nd Autism Day

March 26, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Mayor Ken Bennington has once again proclaimed April 2 as Autism Awareness Day in Shelburne.

Deanna Avison, grandmother of twins with autism, who made the request in a letter to Council, says, “I am pleased to say that for the second year in a row the proclamation was granted, and  once again the Town of Shelburne has declared April 2 as  Autism Awareness Day in our great community.”

Living with her daughter, son-in-law, and their twins on the autism spectrum, Deanna, who says she has become proudly known around town as the “Autism Grandma,” understands the challenges first hand.

“Thank you to our Mayor and Councillors for recognizing and supporting these beautiful children and their families,” she says. “I truly appreciate the support of the Mayor and Town Council in showing families with Autism that we care and support you.”

In 2015, Deanna Avison held a fundraiser for Autism Canada called “Acapella for Autism” and this spring, she asks the community to join in a fun filled evening of “Murder” at the Shelburne Golf and Country Club to raise more funds for the cause.

Avison says she is excited for the event.

“The evening is a Mystery Theatre Dinner; we have hired professionals from ‘Murder for Hire’ to do a Murder Mystery called Mysteria Lane,” she says. “We are hoping people will come out and support our local schools’ Special Education Programs.”

Murder for Hire is a theatrical company from near London, ON, dedicated to interactive murder mystery dinner theatre. Guests will enjoy a delicious dinner, be able to browse the Silent Auction tables and enjoy a fantastic social event while supporting children with autism and other disabilities within the Special Educational Program in local elementary schools.

One in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, and it “comes in various forms, mild, moderate and severe with no two children on the spectrum the same,” says Avison.

“Along with challenges, there are a lot of very proud moments and accomplishments as well. The more awareness we can bring to people about Autism, the better understood it becomes.”

“Children with autism are very intelligent and can learn given the chance,” adds the dedicated Grandmother. “With Special Educational programs in place, it helps the children cope with anxiety, noises, and all the other things that are over stimulating to them. There are calming rooms in the schools, where there are tools such as sensory items, iPads and computers, as well as Educational Assistants that are very attentive to the children, as well as Special Education Teachers.”

Lots of fantastic silent auction items have been donated for the event, says Avison, but ticket sales are a little slow.

“I truly hope in the next week they will pick up a lot more. I just would like people to come out and show support for the children with Autism, their families, and the schools. Together, we can make a difference.”

For tickets for the Dinner and Murder Mystery visit, call the Shelburne Golf Course at 519-925-5581, or book through Hearts Wide Open for Autism Facebook page where there is a secure link to register.

The fun begins at 5.30 p.m., April 2, at the Shelburne Golf and Country Club.

The funds raised will be donated to the Special Education Programs at Hyland Heights E.S, Centennial Highlands E.S., Glenbrook E.S and Primrose E.S.

By Marni Walsh



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