Grand Bank-Fortune Autism Super Moms making a big difference

Event raises $3,900 for autistic students at Lake Academy  

Published on March 29, 2017

The Autism Super Moms (from left) Deanne Kelland, Tina Handrigan, Deanne Hickman and Yolanda Lee are overwhelmed with the support their initiative to help children with autism received.

©Carl Rose/ Special to TC Media

GRAND BANK-FORTUNE — Everyone has heard the old adage, “If you want something done, do it yourself.”  

It was a packed house at the Fortune Legion Saturday in the effort to support children with autism.
Carl Rose/ Special to TC Media

Four ladies from Grand Bank-Fortune, calling themselves Autism Super Moms, have done just that.
A fundraiser last Saturday at the Legion in Fortune, organized by the Super Moms realized $3,900 to help purchase sensory equipment for students with autism at Lake Academy in Fortune.
There is a room at Lake Academy with some sensory equipment, but according to the Super Moms, more is needed.
“The school does provide a room with sensory equipment for students with autism, but we need more to make it sufficient for them,” noted Yolanda Lee. “In discussions with school officials, while it was never said directly, making improvements was a matter of dollars and cents. So we decided to have a fundraiser to help properly equip the room.”
She said their initial goal was to do something each year to purchase one item.
“With such overwhelming support from the communities for this fundraiser, now I think we will be able to buy more than one item,” Lee said. “All the ordering will be done through the school.”
Lee pointed out the importance for such a room for children with autism.
“Giving them a place to go to regroup, and to calm and giving them a sense of reassurance and security to face their daily challenges really will make a world of difference to them,” she said.
“We hope to target all different sensory issues and challenges our kids may face during the run of a day at school. It’s all about this in the end and us Super Moms will do all we can to make things a little easier for the kids.”
No decisions have been made yet on the specific equipment that will be ordered, but Lee mentioned some examples of the type of equipment that might be considered.
“There is a sensory swing that occupational therapists use,” she said. “The swing encloses the student giving them a sense of peace creating a calming effect. It might be proper lighting to create a calming environment for them.”
Lee, on behalf of the other members of the Super Moms group – Deanne Kelland, Deanne Hickman and Tina Handrigan, thanked everyone who came out to support the fundraiser.
“The community really came out to support our efforts,” she said.
About 20 businesses/groups also made contributions to the cause. She also noted appreciation for the Fortune Legion for donating its building and to the Ladies Auxiliary for donating their time and labour.
“We are very thankful and appreciative of all who supported this worthwhile cause,” she said.