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    WLFD Raises $1,200 for the Foundation

    West Lafayette Fire Chief Tim Heath didn’t sit back during Autism Awareness Month, he took action. He created a shirt that would encourage autism awareness and acceptance. His fire department and the Cornerstone staff purchased the red shirts. During the month of April, they gave donations to the Cornerstone Autism Foundation when they would wear the shirts.

    “We have had almost 8,000 views on our facebook page in reference to the post about the shirts,” said Heath. “Our firefighters were very receptive to the fundraiser — they all know someone affected by autism.”

    This year the shirts have raised over $1,000 for the Cornerstone Autism Foundation!

    The West Lafayette Fire Department has been a Cornerstone champion since 2011 when we opened in Purdue Research Park. They have attended our annual fundraiser, The Make It Happen David Ide Memorial Run, each year and have had trainings for their staff about autism to gain more understanding.

    West Lafayette’s Center Manager, Jennie Williams, noticed that Cornerstone staff purchased shirts for their family members as well, especially ones who have served as firefighters. Over half of the Cornerstone staff at the West Lafayette center purchased at least one shirt to support this cause.

    While wearing the shirt in public, Williams has been receiving more questions about Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    “A man in Walmart had all of the wrong ideas about autism, and I was able to explain what autism really is instead of just the stereotypes he had heard before,” said Williams.

    These shirts will continue to create conversation-starters and spread awareness each time someone sees them. We look forward to building upon this partnership with the West Lafayette Fire Department in April 2019!