LCBO stores raise funds for Autism Ontario

TORONTO, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Starting April 1, the public can help support Autism Ontario by making a donation at any of the 630 LCBO stores throughout Ontario. Donation boxes for Autism Ontario will be displayed at LCBO checkout counters until April 27.

Autism Ontario is the leading source of information and referral on ASD (autism spectrum disorders), and one of the largest collective voices representing the autism community.  ASD is a range of complex neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autism Ontario is dedicated to increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals with whom they interact. Collectively, the organization provides information and education, supports research, and advocates for programs and services for the autism community. Funds collected from LCBO's donation box program will be used to support various programs run throughout the 26 chapters in Ontario, mostly staffed by parents and volunteers.

"We are grateful to LCBO, its employees and especially its customers in supporting Autism Ontario through this fundraising initiative. LCBO's province-wide store network and supportive staff enable us to raise significant funds and increase public awareness of autism spectrum disorders that affect more than 100,000 individuals in our province," says Margaret Spoelstra, Executive Director, Autism Ontario. "This year's program coincides with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. For the first time, Canada officially recognizes this day after passing of Bill S-206 through Parliament in October 2012."

"As a socially responsible community partner, LCBO is pleased to partner with Autism Ontario and support a variety of worthy causes," says LCBO President & CEO Bob Peter. "Through the generosity of LCBO customers and staff, we help improve the lives of countless Ontarians and make a difference where we live and work."

Autism Ontario is one of 28 provincial, as well as numerous local charities, that will benefit from LCBO's province-wide donation box program in 2013. In 2011, LCBO raised a total of more than $6.2 million for charities through special programs and initiatives, of which $5.7 million was raised through in-store fundraising. In addition, LCBO's annual dividend transfer to the Ontario government, which totaled $1.63 billion in fiscal 2011-12, excluding taxes, supports a wide range of important government programs, services and priorities, including health care and education.

Autism Ontario thanks the public for its support when shopping at their local LCBO store from April 1st to April 27th.

SOURCE: Autism Ontario

For further information:

Media Contacts:

Margaret Spoelstra                 
Executive Director, Autism Ontario                
Tel: 416 246-9592, x 222; E-mail: marg@autismontario.com                    
          
Monica Richardson
Fundraising, Autism Ontario
Tel: 416 903-6942; E-mail: monicarichardson@rogers.com

Stephanie Petroff
LCBO Senior Communications Consultant
Tel: 416 864-6792; E-mail: stephanie.petroff@lcbo.com

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Autism Ontario

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