On August 24, a special breakfast was held in Seattle to honor our local heroes. Held at the Shilshole Bay Beach Club, the honorees were: Charlie Burnett, Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., Ralph & Freddie Dreitzler, Richard Fade and Bill & Jo Krueger. Each person was recognized for their significant contribution to the local autism community and their commitment to Cure Autism Now.
Charlie Burnett, father of three, one of whom is autistic, and his wife, Barbara, were honored for their work in starting the Northwest Academy for Exceptional Children, a school for severely-disabled children. In addition, with the help of his employer, Costco Wholesale Corporation, they have made significant donations to CAN, namely to WALK NOW Seattle.
Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D, is a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Autism Center at the University of Washington. Dr. Dawson has been the lead on a number of large autism research projects, has authored books for parents and the autism community, and is an active advocate for early intervention and detection. She was honored for her continued work with Cure Autism Now and the AGRE program since 2000.
Ralph & Freddie Dreitzler were honored for their generous financial support of Cure Autism Now. With their support, we have been able to increase the pace and progress autism research.
Richard Fade and partner Susan Fade have been active in promoting services and intervention for individuals and families struggling with autism since 1999. In 2000 the Fades created the endowment which established the Autism Center at the University of Washington. Richard serves on the boards of the Autism Center, and the Northwest Autism Foundation. The Fades also established the Autism Treatment Network - a network of institutions focused on improving the standard of care for those with autism in the United States. Richard is the father of a 10 year old child with autism.
Bill & Jo Krueger have served as Co-Presidents of CAN's Seattle Chapter since its inception six years ago. As parents to Chanel who is affected by autism, Bill and Jo have worked tirelessly as advocates to the state of Washington and as leaders in the Seattle autism community.
Seattle was the second chapter to hold a Local Autism Heroes event, a series that started with our Hawaii chapter in May. For more information, or to host a Local Autism Hero event in your chapter area, please contact Noelle Hannemann or Cynthia Semrow. Highlights from each event will be featured in future Connections issues.