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(From left) Jon Whitney, Jerry Taylor, Don Craven and John Lampinen received awards for their careers of excellence in Illinois journalism during this year's IPA/IPF annual convention in Springfield.
(Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
By ERIN HENKEL
For Illinois Press Association
SPRINGFIELD – Tears and laughter filled the room as the legacies of five men who have had a significant impact on Illinois journalism were recognized during a celebration dinner Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Illinois Press Association/Foundation annual convention.
Jon Whitney, Jerry Taylor and Don Craven were honored as Distinguished Service Award winners, recognition that each received in 2020 before that year’s convention and the 2021 event were forced to be held virtually due to the pandemic.
John Lampinen was named the 2022 recipient of the James C. Craven Freedom of the Press Award, and the late Mike Kramer was honored as the first person to receive the Mike Kramer Legislative Award.
They were all honored during a dinner at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel.
Jon and Nancy Whitney embrace during the Illinois Press Association's Celebration Dinner on Aug. 11 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield during the IPA/IPF convention. Jon Whitney, who owns and operates the Carroll County Review weekly newspaper in Thomson along with Nancy, was honored as a winner of an IPA Distinguished Service Award. Introducing Whitney was Illinois Press Foundaiton Board President Jerry Reppert (right). (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association.)
Whitney and his wife, Nancy, have operated the Carroll County Review weekly newspaper together for more than 55 years. So it was fitting that the first thing Jon did after receiving his award was to ask Nancy to join him on the platform.
Nancy, Jon said, has been his partner in every aspect of life.
“We’ve been married for almost 57 and a half years,” he said. “Fifty-five years and two months of that time we’ve run a newspaper. We worked side by side. …She deserves this award as much as I do. She’s the person who made it possible.”
In addition to being a newspaper owner and publisher, Whitney served as president of the Illinois Press Association Board in 1985 and is a longtime member of the Illinois Press Foundation Board.
Whitney is still serving his local community, working 70 to 80 hours a week to put out a weekly paper.
“Jon is the true spirit of a newspaper publisher” said Jerry Reppert, president of the IPF Board who introduced Whitney.
Whitney appreciates the camaraderie he has found while attending the Illinois Press Association conventions.
“You can’t walk next door in a small town and talk shop. We can come down here and talk shop. So, thank you. My deepest appreciation for this award,” Whitney said.
Dinner attendees also took the opportunity to sing “Happy Birthday” to Whitney, whose birthday was Aug. 12, the following day.
Jerry Taylor (center), surrounded by friends and family members, receives a Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Press Association on Aug. 11 in Springfield. Taylor was editor and publisher of The Dispatch in Moline and The Rock Island Argus for many years. He also served on the IPA Board from 1997 to 2005 and as its president in 2004. Taylor was introduced by Roger Ruthhart (left), former editor ofThe Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Jerry Taylor has contributed a lifetime of service to the Illinois Press Association and local journalism in the Quad Cities. Taylor served on the Illinois Press Association Board from 1997 to 2005 and as president in 2004.
“In my 24 years as executive director, I can easily say Jerry was the most outstanding board member and board president I knew” former IPA President Dave Bennett said in a comment that was read to the audience by Roger Ruthhart in his introduction of Taylor.
During Taylor’s time as editor and publisher of The Dispatch in Moline, and The Rock Island Argus, he advocated for statewide changes, including advocating for verbatim records of closed meetings and access for cameras in courtrooms.
“Jerry wasn’t afraid to use the power of his own newspaper to help make statewide changes” said Ruthhart, former editor of The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.
Taylor also focused his career on the importance of journalism that served local needs.
“Under Jerry we never had a feeling that a story was too big for us,” Ruthhart said. “I can’t remember that he ever spiked a story. When we got into a dicey one, he’d just say call [IPA attorney Don] Craven.”
Taylor’s devotion to serving others was evident in how former colleagues described him:
“Jerry is fiercely intelligent, focused, and driven and yet he is open to new ideas and other people’s opinions,” said Mike Romkey, who managed the newspapers’ editing hub, in quotes read by Ruthhart.
“Jerry is a fierce partisan for the Illinois Quad Cities, the newspapers he ran, and his staff, yet he is aways gracious and fair. Jerry is a demanding boss with high standards, yet he is willing to forgive the indiscretions of youth and inexperience. I think it was Jerry’s formation as a Catholic and Christian man that added to his God-given intelligence and talents that made him easily the best boss with whom I ever worked. Managing skills and business expertise are all balanced on values and Jerry’s values are rock solid.”
Taylor was joined in attendance by a number of family members who filled two tables in the room.
(From left) Don Craven, his wife, Denise, and his mother-in-law, Judith Sholtis, listen as Jim Slonoff, co-owner and publisher of The Hinsdalean newspaper in Hinsdale, introduces Don as a recipient of an Illinois Press Association Distinguished Service Award. Craven, a longtime legal counsel for IPA member newspapers and current IPA president and CEO, was honored during a celebration dinner at the IPA/IPF convention Aug. 11 in Springfield. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Craven was honored for the many years of legal service and leadership he’s provided to the Illinois Press Association and its member newspapers across the state.
“It would be nearly impossible to find a newspaper that hadn’t received the counsel of Don Craven,” said Jim Slonoff, co-owner and publisher of The Hinsdalean newspaper in Hinsdale. “He has helped guide reporters, editors and publishers. From the intricacies of libel law to navigating the Open Meetings Act. From working with politicians to building trust with local officials. From testifying before committees of the Illinois General Assembly to representing newspapers in courtrooms across the state. He trained to be a lawyer but he seems to have the heart and soul of a newspaper man.”
Craven became president and CEO of the IPA last year after having served as interim president during two different periods in the previous two decades. Craven got his law degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1981, and soon set up shop in Springfield with his father, Jim. Today, Craven and his son, Joe, are partners in the Craven & Craven Law Office in Springfield.
For decades, Craven has been provided legal counsel to the hundreds of newspapers that are IPA members.
“Teddy Roosevelt once said ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’ Craven has been that big stick at the side of Illinois newspapers in his almost four decades of service,” Slonoff said. “For the folks that would go on the record, the message was crystal clear: Don Craven has been and will always be a source of wisdom, guidance and friendship. He is the lighthouse that always brightens the path during the darkest hours of the storm.”
Craven, much like his own father did, encourages his sons to help create positive change in their communities.
Craven would ask his sons “What’s tomorrow’s headline going to be?”
Slonoff told the audience that Craven’s sons, Joe and David, explained that this was to get across a few different messages but mainly one challenge: Going about your average day isn’t going to get you on the front page. To be the headline you either have to do something incredibly stupid or do something incredibly special. It was a simple phrase — don’t do anything stupid today, but more importantly go do something meaningful. Make a change in your community [and] have an impact on something you care about.”
John Lampinen (left) and Dennis Anderson of Shaw Media share a laugh during the Illinois Press Association Celebration Dinner on Aug. 11 in Springfield. Lampinen, who served as editor of the Daily Herald for 48 years before retiring at the end of 2021, received the James C. Craven Freedom of the Press Award during the dinner. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
The James C. Craven Freedom of the Press Award was created to honor a lifelong commitment to a free and open press.
“[The] cornerstone of democracy is an educated electorate. If you don’t have an educated electorate they don’t know how to make decisions and you need a free and open press to serve that purpose,” Don Craven said.
The 2022 Craven Freedom of the Press Award was presented to John Lampinen, who served as editor of the Daily Herald for 48 years before retiring at the end of 2021.
“Those of us who became editors …never would have felt the absolute joy in watching a protégé grow unless we had [become editors],” Lampinen said. “It’s the most wonderous thing. People work hard and they seem stuck, and they work hard and they seem stuck, and they work hard and one day the blossom. Suddenly it just happens. Their promise emerges like a flower that has opened overnight. It brings tears to your eyes sometimes to see it,” Lampinen said.
While serving as editor of the Daily Hereld, Lampinen dedicated his time to promoting ethical and responsible journalism. Lampinen started a campaign called Facts Matter. Although he is retired now, Lampinen is still dedicated to promoting factual information.
“Facts matter,” he said. “They are the most important element in a democratic republic. In order for the people to make good decisions in how we are to be governed they must be informed decisions, so the campaign has to continue. There is no alternative but for it to continue.
“We are all swimming in a sea of misinformation. Some of this misinformation is simply a failure of wrecking social media and improperly vetted information. Some of it is simply a failure to recognize bias and vested interests. Much of it is cynical, purposeful misinformation. Particularly given the country’s deep polarization, many of us tend to be too eager to accept anything that agrees with our point of view. We accept propaganda. We accept lies. We accept manipulation. As citizens we have obligations to be much more educated. We are obliged to develop healthy skepticism that trains us how and when to challenge even those assertions that we wish to be true.”
Lampinen said that in retirement he is spending time with family, and after 48 years in a newsroom he enjoys not feeling like he is in a hurry.
“I just want to thank the Association and Don. This is such a thoughtful award and such a surprising one and I am deeply touched by it,” Lampinen said. “It is a reflection not of my career but of the Daily Hereld and all of the people I’ve worked with over the years, dedicated journalists and dedicated newspaper people. I am particularly touched that it is named for Judge Craven, the Craven family, and certainly Don, one of the people I’ve looked up to for so many years. [He’s]so dedicated to the First Amendment and public access. [He] does such important work and I am so grateful for this. Thank you so much.”
Ann Kramer (center) receives the Mike Kramer Legislative Award which was given to her husband, the late Mike Kramer, from Peter Mierzwa (left), president of Law Bulletin Media, and Don Craven, president and CEO of the Illinois Press Association. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
The first Mike Kramer Legislative Award was presented during the celebration dinner. The award was created in 2021 to honor Mike Kramer, former president of Law Bulletin Media. Kramer passed away in December 2020 after spending a lifetime promoting an open and transparent government.
So it was fitting that the first award honors Kramer.
“The Chicago Daily Law bulletin has been around since 1854, 168 years, and throughout all that time we have been advocating tirelessly as well for legislation and positions that support newspapers. I can’t think of anyone who has devoted more of their time, more of their talent than Mike Kramer to that cause” said Peter Mierzwa, current president of Law Bulletin Media
Kramer was charismatic and passionate about public policy that benefited newspapers and a free press. Kramer took a personal approach to promoting legislative interests.
“He loved associating with the legislators. …One of the other things he enjoyed doing as (Law Bulletin Media Co-Chairman and CEO) Sandy (Macfarland) liked to highlight was ‘working the rail’ at the state Capitol, coming in to meet all the new legislators,” Mierzwa said. “It was important that people understood that he had a balanced opinion and that built that sense of trust which is the currency you need to do well in that kind of environment.”
The annual award recognizes individuals or organizations whose legislative efforts have ensured access to an open and transparent government.
Don Craven recalled how Kramer would attend events for political candidates and lawmakers, and “work the room” better than the candidate.
“He would be talking to everybody. He would be listening to everybody,” Craven said. “He would be making jokes with everybody. He was just so damned effective. And he had fun doing it.”
Kramer spent his life in the news publishing business and joined the Daily Law Bulletin in 1997, rising to publisher of Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer magazine in 2007 and as company president in 2015.
Kramer’s spouse, Ann, and his daughter, Megan, accepted the award.
“Thank you so much for this honor,” Ann said. “Mike would have been so grateful and happy to be here with you.”
(From left) Peter Mierzwa, president of Law Bulletin Media, Illinois Press Association President and CEO Don Craven and Ann Kramer share a laugh after Kramer's husband, the late Mike Kramer, was honored as the recipient of the first Mike Kramer Legislative Award during the IPA Celebration Dinner on Aug. 11 at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Jerry Taylor (right) and Roger Ruthhart pose for a photo after Taylor was honored as a Distinguished Service Award recipient by the Illinois Press Association on Aug. 11. Ruthhart introduced Taylor, who was an editor and publisher for many years at The Dispatch in Moline and The Rock Island Argus. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Don Craven, president and CEO of the Illinois Press Association, congratulates Lucy Lampinen after her husband, John Lampinen, was honored as the 2022 recipient of the James C. Craven Freedom of the Press Award during the IPA Celebration Dinner at the annual convention Aug. 11. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Denise Craven and Jim Slonoff share a hug during the Celebration Dinner Aug. 11. Denise's husband, Don, received a Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois Press Association during its convention at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. Slonoff, the co-owner and publisher of The Hinsdalean newspaper in Hinsdale, introduced Craven. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
Jason Hegna, vice president of sales for Shaw Media, enjoys a drink and laughs with other convention-goers during the Celebration Dinner Aug. 11. (Photo by Erin Henkel for Illinois Press Association)
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Digital Public Relations Specialist
Ten $1,000 scholarships now open to Midwest high school seniors
High school seniors from Illinois and five other Midwest states have a chance to earn the scholarships
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — High school seniors from Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin now have a chance to receive one of 10 college scholarships worth $1,000. Registration is open now through April 28, 2023. Parents are also now able to register their student.
High school seniors or their parents may register for the ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/Midwest. ISL Education Lending will award $1,000 scholarships to 10 students whose names are randomly drawn after the registration period. There are no financial need, grade point average or class rank requirements. The ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship can be used at any eligible institution in the United States.
Registered participants also receive emails highlighting financial literacy tips, such as the importance of early career and college planning and ways to reduce student loan indebtedness.
“Student loan debt is a huge concern for new college students,” said Steve McCullough, president and CEO of ISL Education Lending. “As a nonprofit, we provide tools and resources to help high school seniors plan so they can reduce the amount of debt they need to take on while achieving their education goals. Students sign up for a chance at a $1,000 scholarship, and we take that opportunity to share information with them about our free resources.”
The ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship is open to legal U.S. citizens who are seniors at a high school in one of the qualifying states during the 2022–2023 school year and who intend to attend college, either virtually or physically, in fall 2023. It is a no-purchase-required program, and full rules and details are available at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/Midwest.
Additional Resources Available
In addition to offering student loans, ISL Education Lending has other resources for families planning for college and for students who intend to pursue advanced degrees. The Parent Handbook consists of valuable tips to help families of students in sixth through 12th grades prepare for success in college and other postsecondary options. Parents of students in eighth through 12th grades can also sign up to receive twice-monthly emailed tips on academic, college and career planning through the Student Planning Pointers for Parents program. The College Funding Forecaster helps families understand the total cost of four years of college based on a freshman-year financial aid offer. Information about these resources is available at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/SmartBorrowing.
# # #
About ISL Education Lending
Established in 1979 as Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation, a private, nonprofit organization, ISL Education Lending helps students and families obtain the resources necessary to succeed in postsecondary education. ISL has helped nearly 400,000 students pay for college, offering student loans and other products under the name ISL Education Lending. The organization, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, also provides an array of borrower benefits, financial literacy tools and community reinvestment programs, including support for free college planning services for students and their families. For more information, visit www.IowaStudentLoan.org.
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Contact: Stephanie Benson, program chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Illinois Reading Council
http://illinoisreads.org and www.illinoisreadingcouncil.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IllinoisReads #Illinoisreads
Illinois Reading Council's
2023 Illinois Reads Book Selection
featured at the
IRC Conference on March 9-10, 2023
The Illinois Reading Council (IRC) has just released the list of ILLINOIS READS books for 2023. ILLINOIS READS is a statewide program that promotes reading for all Illinois citizens. The program promotes six books in six different age categories by authors and illustrators who have ties to Illinois. The books range from read-to books for infants to books for adult readers. Bookmarks and posters highlighting the ILLINOIS READS books will be available in early 2023. Order early as supplies are limited!
The 2023 ILLINOIS READS Program will also be featured at the annual IRC Conference in Springfield on March 9-10, 2023. Conference registration is now open for educators, librarians, and others interested in promoting literacy. More information is available at the Illinois Reading Council website.
The ILLINOIS READS book selections for 2023 are:
Ages Birth – 4 Years
Would You Come Too? by Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Diana Sudyka
This is Music: Drums by Rekha S. Rajan
Chicago, Baby! by Feather Flores, illustrated by Kelly Leigh Miller
ABC Animals! by Stephen F. Majsak
I’ll Be Your Polar Bear by Justin Roberts
Molly on the Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal
Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera
Buzzing with Questions: The Inquisitive Mind of Charles Henry Turner by Janice N. Harrington
Pighearted by Alex Perry
A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga
Apple Crush by Lucy Knisley
Three Strike Summer by Skyler Schrempp
A Man Called Horse: John Horse and the Black Seminole Underground Railroad by Glennette Tilley Turner
Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime by Candace Fleming
As Fast As Her: Dream Big, Break Barriers, Achieve Success by Kendall Coyne
Strike the Zither by Joan He
The Wolves Are Watching by Natalie Lund
Darling by K. Ancrum
The Most Haunted House in America by Jarrett Dapier
Stella Keeps the Sun Up by Clothilde Ewing
Elephant’s Big Solo by Sarah Kurpiel
The Meaning of Pride by Rosiee Thor and illustrated by Sam Kirk
Tortoise and Hare: A Fairy Tale to Help You Find Balance by Susan Verde and illustrated by Jay Fleck
Yetis are the Worst! by Alex Willan
Courage by Barbara Binns
The Civil War of Amos Abernathy by Michael Leali
Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa by Julian Randall Tumble by Celia C. Pérez
ReThink the Internet: How to Make the Digital World a Lot Less Sucky by Trisha Prabhu
Underground Fire: Hope, Sacrifice, and Courage in the Cherry Mine Disaster by Sally M. Walker
The Upstairs House: A Novel by Julia Fine
Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America by Cody Keenan
Eat, Drink, and Be Murray: A Feast of Family Fun and Favorites by Andy Murray
Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Novel by Shelby Van Pelt
The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West
Last Summer on State Street: A Novel by Toya Wolfe
ILLINOIS READS is sponsored by the Illinois Reading Council, a nonprofit organization with close to 2,000 members across the State of Illinois. The mission of the Illinois Reading Council is to provide support and leadership to all who promote and teach lifelong literacy. Book lists from 2013 to 2022 may be found on the ILLINOIS READS website. More information is also available at www.IllinoisReads.org and www.IllinoisReadingCouncil.org.
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Contact: Nic Skovgaard
Certifiable Marketing Maniac
TED talk brings entrepreneur full circle
HERRIN, Illinois — Nic Skovgaard, owner of AlterEgo Marketing in Herrin, has been named one of eight presenters at the upcoming TEDxSIUC conference, March 4 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Skovgaard will share his first-ever TED talk, “The Future is Vertical: Why Vertical Video Will Flip Your Screen Forever.”
The trip to the TEDx stage will be special for Skovgaard, who said it was other TED presentations which laid the foundation for his company, a recognized leader in brand development, digital presence and traditional marketing.
“I built my company (AlterEgo Marketing in Herrin) because of two TED talks,” he explained. “Everything about who I am as a person and everything I’ve done of the last decade can be traced back to those two TED talks.”
Skovgaard said a 2009 presentation by Simon Sinek called “Start with Why” and Drew Dudley’s 2010 talk “Everyday Leadership” greatly impacted him. Sinek’s speech explored how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change.
“I will tell you that everything I’ve done with my company, in working with the Jackson CEO program, any volunteering I have done and any mentoring work, all can be traced back to those TED talks. Drew Dudley’s talk completely changed my life as he talked about ‘lollipop’ moments and leadership and how you could be a leader at any place and at any time” he said.
Skovgaard said since first seeing the two presentations, he has tried to follow the speakers’ advice.
“I have been on this quest to have that same kind of impact that those two individuals have had on me,” he said. “If I could make just a bit of that impact on another person’s life, it would mean the world to me."
As one of those speakers who influenced Skovgaard, Dudley said he feels as though the Herrin native already is changing others’ lives and he is honored to have Skovgaard relate his impact.
Dudley said, "’Lucky’ is a more appropriate term, because knowing Nic feels like that can impact me every day. I believe leadership exists in individual moments of interpersonal impact and it's the role of a leader to create those moments every day. On the days I feel too tired, too angry, or too filled with self-doubt to try to live like that, words like Nic's can be a reminder how much recognizing someone else's impact on your life can matter to that person.”
TED talks are presentations, often recorded, at conferences on a variety of topics to educate or inspire. Called “ideas worth sharing,” speakers are selected for TED-sponsored or individual local gatherings called TEDx events. Skovgaard was among those chosen from a pool of 50 potential presenters.
In his talk, Skovgaard will be sharing what he sees as a shift in how videos are presented online, exploring a shift to a vertical (or portrait) orientation rather than the once-encouraged horizontal format. He said the change, driven in part by the TikTok social media platform, is based on how individuals consume video content.
“There is no such thing as horizontal video anymore. If I were to give one piece of advice for online video, it would be to never turn your camera sideways again,” he said, emphatically. “TikTok has completely changed that game and everyone else is copying it. I would tell you there is no reason from this day forward to shoot any video landscape unless you are doing it for television.”
Skovgaard said it is a dream come true to be scheduled for the TEDxSIUC event. Dudley said he knows Skovgaard is looking to help others through his presentation.
“While delivering a TED Talk might be a personal goal for Nic, the work he's been putting in to make it happen has focused on creating content that helps others at every step of the way. I think Nic sees the TED stage not as a platform to make him look good but rather as a platform to do good; to share ideas that he thinks will make the lives of other people better,” Dudley said.
The 2023 TEDxSIUC event is set for Saturday, March 4 in the SIU Student Center. Tickets will be available in January.
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Contact: Deborah A. Newman
Deborah Newman Marketing/Communications
Turning Pointe to fund critical support services for families of students with autism; lucky raffle winner to take home $80,000 luxury hybrid SUV
NAPERVILLE, IL — Supporting Turning Pointe Autism Foundation will prove lucky for one family who will win an MSRP $80,000 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone Twin Turbo V6 Hybrid SUV for the cost of a $100 raffle ticket. But for scores of autistic students and their families who attend Turning Pointe, the proceeds of the raffle will provide critical funds to aid the Family Support and Respite activities at Turning Pointe.
Thanks to Toyota of Naperville, a member of the Dan Wolf Automotive Group, Turning Pointe is selling just 2,000 tickets at $100 each for the luxury family SUV. The winning ticket will be drawn at Toyota of Naperville, 1488 West Ogden Ave. in Naperville on Dec. 15. The winner need not be present to win.
Giving Families Skills and Resources
“Our son Alex needs to be under constant supervision,” says dad Arnold. ”Even though he’s 19, it’s kind of like raising a toddler. If I step away for a moment, I’m still worrying that he’ll need something and not be able to find me to get help. Everything about our family life revolves around him. My wife and I are always on guard. But since we’ve been at Turning Pointe, instead of living in a bubble, we have been empowered with Family Support seminars on legal, financial and health issues. As Alex’s behavior has become more manageable, his relationship with his sister has improved, and we’ve learned so much that now we can take him on outings and even travel.”
Expanding Resources Needed Most
“The raffle is an important and exciting fundraiser for Turning Pointe,” says Carrie Provenzale, executive director. “The funding it generates will give us an opportunity to support the growing number of families living with children impacted by autism. We know best-practice interventions can vastly improve students’ future independence. The past few years, as more families have learned of an autism diagnosis, supports have been stretched and classrooms at other providers have closed as a result of the pandemic. The raffle funds will allow Turning Pointe to continue expanding support for families.”
Engaging Compassionate High School Volunteers
Arnold says the Saturday Respite program allows Alex to be among friends and staff who understand him and keep him safe. “My wife and I can actually do things together, like enjoy a meal in a ‘non-Alex-friendly’ restaurant and just let our guard down for a bit. It’s a program that Alex enjoys, and he can spend time with neuro-typical high school student volunteers from the Benet Academy Benet Buddies program, who help him socialize. Before Turning Pointe, our life was pretty chaotic. But Turning Pointe has become our family and now we see hope.”
Ensuring Specialized Quality Education and Employment Training
Turning Pointe Autism Foundation was founded 15 years ago by Kim and Randy Wolf, who together with other parents of autistic children, teamed with professionals to build on programming which has proven effective for children diagnosed with Autism. Turning Pointe strives to raise the quality of educational support for children and young adults through a Day School for students from ages 5 to 22 and Adult Services offering support for independent living and employment. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, the organization relies on the partnership of volunteers, donors, school districts, and employment partners to build a thriving center for students learning with autism.
For more information on Turning Pointe Autism Foundation visit https://turningpointeautismfoundation.org. To buy tickets to the 2022 Toyota Sequoia Capstone Raffle by Dec. 15, 2022, visit https://turningpointeautismfoundation.org/2022-toyota-raffle/.
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