December 2, 2016 3:49 pm

Autism program in Kelowna saved

Global News

A Kelowna City councillor and a local firefighter are being credited with helping to save an important program for children with autism.

Councillor Mohini Singh and firefighter Jason Picklyk received a standing ovation Thursday from board members and staff of the Starbright Children’s Develpment Centre for their efforts in raising tens of thousands of dollars.

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Starbright Children’s Development Centre is a non-profit, registered charity that provides early intervention supports to infants, toddlers and young children who have, or are at risk of having, a developmental challenge.  One of the programs offered at Starbright is the autism program but the program was at risk because of a funding cut.

“Mohini Singh and Jason Picklyk came into our centre with a desire to assist us just weeks after we learned about a funding cut that would mean we could not provide occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and clinical counseling consultation to our Autism Program,” Starbright executive director Rhonda Nelson said.  “These two did not hesitate for a moment to set a funding goal and commit to raising the funds we needed. They didn’t just project a spark for us! They lit up a bonfire of support.”

Singh and Picklyk have raised $50,000 so far and are working on securing another $20,000.  The money will allow the program to run for at least another two years.  Singh and Picklyk raised the money by reaching out to local businesses and philanthropists.






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