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May 09

Update

Published for Staff and Friends of Friendship House Scranton, PA 18505

1st Autism Telethon A Ringing Success!

The region’s first Autism Telethon airing live on WBRE –TV Saturday, April 18, brought in $152,382 to benefit the Northeast Regional Autism Center at Friendship House, with more donations still coming in. Viewers were invited to visit www.FriendshipHousePA.org to continue to make their donations after the telethon.

“I’m excited that even with the way the economy is, people still found it important to donate to the cause,” said Debbie Dudley, assistant director of development for Friendship House, who co-ordinated the telethon effort over several months.

The telethon total includes pledges and donations from callers within the 17-county WBRE viewing audience, phoning in over the eight hours of the telethon operation.

Hundreds of volunteers staffed the phones from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Scranton High School. Donations were made in honor or in memory of others, many in tribute to children with autism.

Major sponsors of the telethon event included Joyce, Jackman and Bell, Fidelity Bank, Mohegan Sun, State Farm Insurance, Gertrude Hawk, O’Malley and Langan. Many thousands of dollars were received from service groups sup- porting Friendship House, including Minooka Lions, Ki- wanis and UNICO.

The telethon total also includes check presentations by more than 25 businesses and community organizations. Among the unexpected donations was $17,000 from the Rock Autism Band Concerts held at Tinks in Scranton and at NightCaps in Wilkes Barre to benefit Friendship House. Other large gifts included $31,000 raised recently during the Fourth Annual Spring Break for Autism, sponsored by par- ents and friends of Friendship House children with autism. Telethon funds will be used for new program development, community outreach services, therapy materials, underwrit- ing family Respite Care, and for the purchase of assistive communication technology to “give a voice” to children with autism who are non-verbal.

“We’re overwhelmed with the wonderful support we received during this telethon,” said Robert H. Angeloni. “On behalf of the staff, the board of directors and all the chil- dren we serve, we express heartfelt thanks to Scranton High School, the generous people of our community, the business sponsors, charitable organizations, civic groups and the hun- dreds of volunteers, including staff, who made this happen, and not least, the families and friends of children diagnosed with autism.”

Friendship House President Robert H. Angeloni, second from right, is interviewed by WBRE-TV News Anchors Drew Speie , left, and Andy Mehalshick, at the conclu- sion of the eight-hour telethon which raised more than $150,000 for the Northeast Regional Autism Center at FriendshipHouse. Atleft, Anchor Candice Kellylookson. In foreground are phone volunteers from Fidelity Bank.

Casey Delivers $141,000 For Autism Center

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) made another visit to Friendship House last week to deliver $141,000 to sup- port the new and expanded technically and therapeuti- cally advanced Northeast Regional Autism Center now under construction within the Maple Street Administration complex. Senator Casey secured this funding in the re- cently enacted fiscal 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

“Children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families have long struggled to get the services and treatment they need to lead rich and productive lives,” said Senator Casey. “This center will address this problem by helping children, young adults and adults gain access to the support they need to lead satisfying, independent lives. In turn, the center will help families gain peace of mind that services are available that will allow their children to reach their fullest potential.”

“Senator Casey has long been a friend to Friendship House and more importantly to children and families” said Robert H. Angeloni, Friendship House president. “He continues to keep children’s needs at the forefront, as did his father, Gov- ernor Robert P. Casey. “The whole autism community ap- plauds him for his sensitivity in championing this cause.”

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, cente , addresses staff, trust- ees and parents outside the Maple Street Adminis- tration Building regarding the donation he secured for the new Autism Center. Looking on from left, are Jeff Kelly and Debra Kostage, Judge James A. Gib- bons, FH chairman of the Board, Patrick Ackourey, vice president, and Robert H. Angeloni, president.

“He continues to keep children’s needs at the forefront, as did his father, Governor Robert P. Casey, “added Mr. Angeloni. “ The whole autism community applauds him for his sensitivity in championing this cause.”

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