Thanks to our friends at Sanderson Ford, SARRC has been a proud partner and charity recipient of their Operation Santa Claus event for 16 years. Throughout the 2017 holiday season, Sanderson Ford hosted numerous events around the Valley collecting thousands of food, toy and donations to support its participating charities raising more than $600,000 in donations and in-kind support.
Pearl Chang Esau, educator, advocate, policy expert and leading voice in support of excellent education for all students, and Gregory Bernosky, director of state regulation and compliance for Arizona Public Service (APS), have been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC).
Kiri and Jim Rubin were confused and overwhelmed that their young son, Dean, was non-responsive to his name and surroundings, and would occasionally cause harm to himself. He would refuse to eat at times and was terrified of water.
Out of desperation Kiri would stand behind him and would exclaim his name, ‘Dean, Dean, Dean’ and he wouldn’t respond.
“I sort of grew cold with fear that something was off,” says Kiri.
One evening in early 2017, the Higgins family ordered Chinese food for dinner. As Cherie, the mom, opened her fortune cookie, she saw the message, “You will soon be traveling southward and learn great things.”
It was a sign, she thought.
“I remember telling my husband it meant that we were going to get into the SARRC program,” she recalls.
Photo Credit: Sydnee Schwartz
On Sunday, Oct. 29, nearly 20,000 people and 500 teams from across the state gathered at Tempe Beach Park in support of the Autism Speaks Walk in Partnership with SARRC. The annual event raised an estimated $885,000 that will go toward supporting autism programs and research. Half of all monies raised during the walk will stay in Arizona.
When Mason Maltby was 2-years-old, he lost all language and eye contact. He was soon diagnosed with autism. Shortly thereafter, someone gave his mom, Alisa, information about SARRC—information, she says, that became critical to impacting Mason’s life.
When Kathy Bosco’s grandson was diagnosed with autism, she delved into learning as much as she could about it. She found a lot of resources and information, but one thing was missing—a support group specifically for grandparents. So, in 2002, she formed the Grandparents Group. The group began with just six members. Today, it has grown to include more than 400 members since its founding.
SARRC’s Beneficial Beans social enterprise initiative is pleased to announce a partnership with CO+HOOTS, a nationally recognized coworking community in Phoenix, to create a five-month pop-up boutique dedicated to helping social enterprises succeed.
Beneficial Beans & Boutique will be launching on Monday, Oct. 16 in downtown Phoenix in CO+HOOTS’ Washington location. It will be a one-stop shop for mission-oriented products from 20 social enterprises, including local businesses.
SARRC's Beneficial Beans Garden received a major face-life thanks to Rain Bird and Clean Cut Landscape Management, which generously donated and installed a new state-of-the-art irrigation system and cleared away old brush. After the renovation project, our new irrigation system features Wi-Fi capability and the garden increased by nearly 30 percent.
The 2017 Autism Speaks Walk in Partnership with SARRC theme “Powered by Love” could not be more appropriate for returning walk team, Team Blain. April and Brad Tucker started Team Blain in honor of their son Blain, who was diagnosed with autism at 3.5 years old.
Team Blain was inspired by the importance of family, friends, love and determination. Early on in their son’s diagnosis, SARRC, along with several local healthcare professionals, gave the Tuckers an understanding of how to navigate the next steps in their journey with autism.