NORTH FORK – When David and Sue Novell’s grandson was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, they did what anyone in their situation would do – they began to educated themselves about autism.
But they went much further than that. They explored ways they could help other families who are dealing with the challenges of raising an autistic child.“We wanted to help on a local level,” says Sue. “That’s how we got involved with Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT).”
FEAT is a non-profit organization of parents, family members, and treatment professionals, designed to help families with children of all ages who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. It offers a network of support where families can meet each other to discuss issues surrounding autism and treatment options.
For the past three years, the Novells have been hosting a fundraising event at the North Fork Town Hall, where families can have fun, enjoy live music, and participate in arts and crafts, face painting, dancing and raffles.
This year’s event is on Sunday, Apr. 7, from 1 to 5 p.m. A donation of $10 per adult is requested, and children under age 12 are free.
There will be fun and games for the entire family, and BBQ beef sandwiches will be available for sale, along with drinks and desserts. Several local musicians and dancers will be entertaining throughout the afternoon:
1:00 – 1:45 p.m. – Rich Sirois
2:00 – 2:45 p.m. – Sugar Pine
2:45 – 3:00 p.m. – Robyn Flory will do a sing-along with the kids
3:00 – 3:45 p.m. – Dave Cicoletti and Joe Nelson
4:00 – 4:15 p.m. – Terry Butler’s Dancers from the North Fork Dance Club
4:15 – 4:30 p.m. – Raffle
4:30 – 4:45 p.m. – Dancers
All proceeds go to FEAT (Fresno-Madera Chapter of Families for Effective Autism Treatment)
Ponderosa has donated the money to rent the hall, gifts from Squirrel Cage Theatre and The Lions club will help with expenses for art supplies, and dozens of local businesses have donated raffle prizes.
Chuck Gensel from FEAT will be on hand to answer questions, provide resources and share with parents and families ways they can find help and support in living with autism, including access to therapy, insurance coverage and help working with schools.
For those who are unable to attend but would like to contribute, please visit the FEAT website for more information or to learn how you can donate.