Pilot Club of Great Bend hosted an Autism Spectrum Disorders Workshop Saturday, April 7. It was a successful event which was well attended and Pilots are proud to have been able to present it.
Local Pilots Sally O’Connor, chair of the committee; Janice Walker, Pilot president; Betty Schneider, Pilot treasurer; and Marcia Johnson, Project division leader, worked on the project for approximately a year. Heather Quillin, coordinator and speech pathologist at Sunflower Early Education Center, and Ros Neeland, paraprofessional for USD 428, also helped extensively with the planning and organization. Others who helped along the way include Alyson Burkhardt, Amanda Swigart, Rhonda Knudson, Carol Dellinger, Renee Johnson, Billie Bonomo and all of the Great Bend Pilots.
Professionals, parents and interested persons from around the state gathered to learn more about this complex issue. One in 68 children are touched with this disorder and there are times when people feel completely alone and stranded because of it. The Pilot Club provided information, support, ideas and inspiration through the professional presenters: Dr. Jim Ball, Ed.D, BCBA from New Jersey; Tami Allen, program director for Families Together; Jenni Halstead, certified Rhythmic Movement consultant; Dr. Linda Heietzman-Powell, Ph.D., MPH; and Elizabeth Hewatt, BCBA. They presented a wealth of information throughout the day.
Those who generously donated to this project include: Pilot International which provided a matching grant, Pilot Club of Great Bend, Barton Community College which provided the facility and staff assistance, Sunflower Early Education, The John H. & Doris F. Grahm Memorial Endowment Fund, and many local businesses and individuals.
Pilot Club of Great Bend has a long history of supporting projects that support brain health and brain safety. It is an active and important international service organization open to women and men who care about their community and the world at large.