The Thompson Foundation for Autism’s largest annual fundraiser, held earlier this month at the Four Seasons St. Louis,  raised more than $400,000  that will support   the Thompson Center’s ongoing work   to make a difference for children and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).   

“With an estimated one out of 88 children diagnosed with ASD, every penny counts and is put to work to support our research, diagnosis and treatment efforts that are so important to those who count on us, ” said Dr. Stephen Kanne, executive director for the Thompson Center, which is sought out by families across the state and around the nation. “We are always overwhelmed by the support we receive at the gala in St. Louis each year.”

Individual donations by generous guests at the event soared as high as $10,000, while a lively auction drew bids as high as $10,000 and $14,000 for some of the most coveted items,   helping to push the gala’s total funds raised over the $400,000 mark. Among the auction items capturing top dollars at the event were amazing vacation packages in Hawaii, Park City and Colorado.

Tom Ackerman, Sports Director for KMOX emceed and was the auctioneer of the event , which was widely supported by the St. Louis Cardinals with Manager Mike Matheny returning as honorary chair accompanied by several other members of the Cardinals team who came to show their support for this worthy cause, including: Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Alan Craig, Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, Lance Lynn, Seth Maness, Pete Kozma, Joe Kelly, John Gast, Coach Mike Aldrette, Coach Chris Maloney and St. Louis Cardinals Senior Vice President and General Manager John Mozeliak. Other celebrity attendees included: Gary Pinkel, Daryll Strawberry and Norm Stewart.

Founded in 2006, The Thompson Foundation (thompsonfoundation.org) is an organization whose mission is to strengthen children and families affected by ASD through raising awareness and support for interventions, education and research. The foundation acts as a policy review board for the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders at the University of Missouri, and provides financial support for the Center. The Thompson Center, founded by Affton natives Bill and Nancy Thompson who now reside in Southern California, is a national leader in confronting the challenges of autism and other developmental conditions through its collaborative research, training and service programs. For additional information, visit http://thompsoncenter.missouri.edu or http://thompsonfoundation.org/ .

The Thompson Foundation for Autism is a 501©3 non- profit organization. Sponsorship information for the 2014 gala is available by contacting Donna Wilkinson at 314-367-8118.

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