2012 Autism Awareness Charity Ball held Friday

The second annual Autism Awareness Charity Ball, presented by the Dickinson Center, Inc. Autism Program, was held on Friday at The Red Fern Banquet and Conference Center in St. Marys, with proceeds to benefit the center's Autism Program. The evening included a performance by Jack Garret and the Swingin' Starz, as well as live and silent auctions. Linda White, Autism Program coordinator, said that 155 tickets were sold for Friday's event, and while the official totals were still being tallied, she estimated the amount raised to be between $16,000 and $18,000. White said this year's event was successful in both meeting the goals of raising funds for Dickinson's Autism Program and raising autism awareness. "I think it was a success, people enjoyed themselves and we raised money for the program and raised awareness, which is really important as well," White said. White added that the event and ongoing fundraising campaign received support from individual patrons, area businesses, and corporate sponsors. Dickinson’s Possibilities Autism Center was established in 2010 in an effort to provide area families with greater and more immediate access to diagnostic and treatment services to support their children living with autism.In addition, the program's literature indicates the need for services relating to the treatment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as being greater than ever, with one in 110 children currently diagnosed with ASD, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study.