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Family Initiative to host 2023 Autism Acceptance Awards on April 29

Four bidders hold up auction numbers during Autism Acceptance Awards Gala 2022

The culmination of April’s Autism Acceptance Month coincides with Family Initiative’s Autism Acceptance Awards Gala at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center in downtown Fort Myers. The Gala will begin with a cocktail hour where guests can mix, mingle and bid on an impressive array of auction items. Guests will enjoy dinner, live music, an exciting live auction, and most importantly, an awards presentation celebrating local champions who work tirelessly to make life better for children with autism spectrum disorder.

During the evening, Family Initiative will announce the recipients of the 2023 Autism Acceptance Awards in four notable categories:

BELIEVER – Awarded to an individual or organization that effectively uses its resources to positively impact individuals and families with autism.

CHAMPION – Awarded to an individual who uses their resources or influence to advance the well-being of those on the spectrum or further understanding and acceptance of autism in the community.

PARTNER – Awarded to a professional or organization in the field of autism who has provided exceptional impact on individuals with autism.

DYLAN AWARD – The Dylan award is named for a remarkable young man who served as an inspiration for casting a bold vision of what is possible for individuals on the autism spectrum. The award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond for the ASD community and has served as an inspiration to others.

Through compassion and innovation, Florida-based Family Initiative provides social skills programs, clinical services and community education for children and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder, as well as those in the child welfare system. Family Initiative offers a family-centered approach to caring for children and families that includes evidence-based therapies, innovative programs, practical training and compassionate support. Funds raised during the gala enabled Family Initiative to expand services and help additional families throughout Florida.

“Data released recently by the CDC suggests the prevalence of autism in children is now 1 in 44,” said David Brown, co-founder and president of Family Initiative. “It’s our hope that through the generosity of our sponsors and attendees, this year’s gala will support Family Initiative in expanding our services to meet the growing needs of the families we serve. Additionally, we look forward to honoring the incredible people and organizations who are dedicated partners of Family Initiative in redefining autism and making a positive impact on children and families we serve.”

For tickets or to nominate a person or company for their work in championing children and families impacted by autism spectrum disorder, visit fi-florida.org/autism-acceptance-awards/.  To sponsor the event, contact Rachel Fecteau at rfecteau@fi-florida.org.

About Family Initiative

Established in 2015, Family Initiative, Inc. is a Florida-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to supporting children with autism and strengthening their families. Its team of clinicians serves children from compassionate, personalized approach through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Occupational Therapy (OT) services, and offers autism play groups, teen meetings, parent education, community conversations and more. In addition, the organization provides child welfare caregiver training and support through its Family Impact Program. Visit fi-florida.org or find Family Initiative on Facebook and Instagram at @FamilyInitiative and on Twitter at @FI_Inc.

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