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GB Pilot Club receives grant for autism workshop
Dr. Kerry Mangro

The Pilot Club of Great Bend has been chosen to receive a $5,000 matching grant from Pilot International Founders Fund. On Oct. 5, the Pilot Club of Great Bend will host at Barton Community College an autism workshop, “Making a Difference: Autism across the Lifespan.” The workshop will serve children and adults with autism and their caregivers. 

The workshop is featuring, Dr. Kerry Magro, national speaker, bestselling author who is on the spectrum. Kerry resides in Hoboken, New Jersey and you can learn more about him and his work at

Traditionally, April is a month with a focus on autism awareness and autism acceptance. April 2 is Autism Awareness Day, and the entire month of April is Autism Acceptance Month. The Pilot Club has a proclamation signing with the Barton County commissioners on April 2, to help raise awareness regarding how autism is prevalent in our community and our nation.

This will be the third workshop held by Pilot Club of Great Bend, where their sponsorship has brought help, resources, guidance, knowledge and awareness to central and western Kansas. Since 2020, the purpose of the workshops was to aid family members and professionals to understand and better cope with the daily challenges that children and adults with autism face.

Autism is lifelong for an autistic child who grows up to be an autistic adult. You can support awareness by wearing blue throughout the month. The latest research in 2023 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that one in 36 children is now diagnosed with autism. This is an increase from one in 44 children two years ago. Since the report was recently released, the data is likely to stay the same through 2024. Early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan. Most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2. Adult statistics highlight the fact that autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental condition. Pilot Club encourages acceptance, understanding and inclusion.  

The Pilot club of Great Bend, chartered in 1987, submitted the grant request on behalf of the Great Bend Pilot Special Autism committee and matched the Founders fund grant of $5,000. The goal of Pilot International is to promote and create awareness for persons with brain disorders and disabilities. Great Bend Pilot club is active in Great Bend and the surrounding communities in supporting this goal.

For additional informational about Pilot Club, go to their website at Information about the Pilot Club of Great Bend may be found on Facebook at Pilot Club of Great Bend and the