JoAnn Hejna Named Honorary Chairperson for TouchPoint Autism Services’ “All Stars for Autism Program”
St. Louis, MO – Jo Ann Hejna, Executive Director of The Saigh Foundation in St. Louis, has been named the Honorary Chairperson for TouchPoint Autism Services’ “All Stars for Autism” program in April 2010. The “All Stars for Autism” program is a month-long awareness and fundraising campaign benefitting TouchPoint (formerly Judevine Center for Autism) and is tied into the National Autism Awareness Month in April.
“I am very pleased to lend my support and the support of The Saigh Foundation to this very worthy cause,” said JoAnn Hejna. “Autism is a national public health crisis and families are often overwhelmed and frightened when they receive a diagnosis of autism. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need to focus our community’s attention and resources on the hundreds of families in St. Louis affected by an autism spectrum disorder.”
The Saigh Foundation was founded the late Fred Saigh, a prominent St. Louis lawyer and one-time owner of the St. Louis Cardinals (from 1947-1953). Considered a visionary and leader in the St. Louis community, Saigh donated generously to many individuals and St. Louis institutions throughout his life. Saigh died in 1999 at the age of 94. A legacy to his generosity, The Saigh Foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in the St. Louis metropolitan region through support for charitable projects and initiatives which primarily benefit children and youth through education and health care.
“We are extremely honored to have JoAnn head this very important campaign for us,” said Ron Ekstrand, TouchPoint Autism Services CEO. “Under her direction, The Saigh Foundation has made a very significant, tangible impact on the health and well being of our community’s children and families, bringing services and support to those who need a helping hand, including the children and families served by TouchPoint Autism Services.”
According to Ekstrand, the goal of the “All Stars for Autism” campaign is to increase community awareness and support for TouchPoint Autism Services. Throughout the month, individuals and corporations will have opportunities to show their support on many levels.
Major components of the campaign include:
An All Stars for Autism retail program
An All Stars Corporate Challenge
An All Stars Online Giving Campaign
An All Stars for Autism Day at the Ball Park and Tailgate Party
“The All Stars for Autism campaign will help build TouchPoint’s capacity to provide more responsive, comprehensive and coordinated services,” Ekstrand said. “Through the funds raised in this and other campaigns, young children will receive more timely diagnoses, assessments, and early intervention services; parents will have the support and guidance they need to navigate care for their child, make educated, timely decisions, and maintain their own emotional wellbeing; and individuals with autism will have greater access to effective treatment and support throughout their lifetime.”
Although there is no known cure for autism, TouchPoint Autism Services has succeeded in providing treatment programs that promise a brighter future for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families for more than 37 years. TouchPoint offers treatments and services across the entire lifespan of individuals with autism. These services include behavior and other therapies, parent training, a transitional classroom, family support services, residential options, supported employment, and adult day habilitation services.
With offices in Olivette, St. Louis City, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Columbia, and Joplin, Missouri, TouchPoint Autism Services reaches more than 2,500 families directly and more than 30,000 indirectly each year – making it the largest autism services provider in Missouri.
For more information on how individuals and corporations can get involved in the “All Stars for Autism” activities, call Michele Hoeft at 636-432-6200 or visit TouchPoint’s website at www.touchpointautism.org.
NOTE: The Saigh Foundation is headquartered in Clayton, Missouri.
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