(from left) Autism Research Institute board members Christopher J. Flynn and Dr. Paul M. Hardy, Treasurer and Immediate Past Board Chair, with Local 25 Autism Fund board members Sean M. O'Brien, Trish DiSilva and James Donovan, Jr.
CHARLESTOWN, MA - October 5, 2017 - Recently Teamsters Local 25 President Sean M. O'Brien presented the Autism Research Institute with a $20,000 donation. The presentation was made to two of the Institute's board members based in New England: Dr. Paul M. Hardy, the Immediate Past Board Chair and Christopher Flynn, Treasurer. The grant will support research and the organization's near weekly live webinars that cover all aspects of autism in an effort to educate parents, caregivers, teachers and medical professionals.
"There is no 'one size fits all approach' to treating autism and parents are often eager to not just read about current findings and approaches but to hear from experts and those that can offer real life experience," said O'Brien. "The Autism Research Institute has a 50-year-history of helping those with autism, and have developed a successful webinar series that tackles timely topics. We're proud of the contributions Local 25 has been able to make within the autism community these last ten years, and are proud to support this organization because we believe they align with our mission."
ARI Executive Director, Stephen Edelson, Ph.D. expressed his deep gratitude for the gift, which will pay for an entire year of online webinars and fund precious research. "Our urgent goal is to help researchers move the field forward while removing barriers parents and professionals often face when trying to learn about evidence-based treatments and educational strategies," Dr. Edelson said. "We recognize that free access to scientifically validated information explained by highly qualified professionals is critical to the autism community and that offering it online is the most efficient method. Hundreds of thousands of viewers have watched free online talks facilitated by ARI over the past four years. The Teamsters Local 25 grant will sustain live and archived presentations through 2018 and provide critical research funding for promising areas of study."
The Teamsters Local 25 Autism Fund has donated more than $4 million since its inception. Its major fundraiser is the annual Teamsters Local 25 Light up the Night Gala, which will take place again April 21, 2018. The Gala serves as a major autism awareness vehicle as well as a critical fundraiser for local programs that help children, teens and adults with autism or developmental delays.
In 2017, the Teamsters Local 25 Autism Fund presented more than $350,000 to non-profits, including Autism Speaks, Ashley's Autism Heroes, Boston Higsahi School, Braintree American Challenger League, Jason Roberts Challenger League, Liam Nation, Malden Challenger League, McLean Hospital Autism Program, Medford Invitational Tournaments, My Little Buddy's Boat/Fishin' with a Mission, Norfolk County Sheriff's Youth Leadership Academy, St. Francis Church in Memory of Thomas Beckwith, Stoneham Light It Up Blue, and Technology for Autism Now. To learn more, please visit www.teamsterslocal25autism.com.