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Cornerstone Fall Festival Special Thanks

Cornerstone Fall Festival special organizations who really supported the weekend fundraiser

Family Fun Day. Sept 30th 2012

Photographs by Rachel Roembke

Ride for Autism. Sept 29th 2012

Pictures by Lee Lewis Photgraphy

Rock Out for Autism. Sept 29th 2012

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Charity HOG Ride Sponsors

Major support for the July charity HOG ride provided by these great individuals & organizations

Jerry & Annie Charity HOG Ride. July 2012

How We Are Making A DIFFERENCE

The Cornerstone Autism Foundation is in the business of furthering the good efforts for those who serve, love and advocate on behalf of children living with autism. Check back often to learn about how we are accomplishing our mission.




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Foundation Gives $250 Sponsorship to the Wee Speak Kids Golf Outing


This year, the Cornerstone Autism Foundation is an Eagle Sponsor for the Wee Speak Kids Golf Outing. The fundraising event will take place on June 18, 2021. Proceeds will go towards a community scholarship for students living with disabilities to receive needed therapy services.

Wee Speak Kids is a nonprofit organization. Their mission is to provide support and resources for families of children with special abilities.

Wee Speak Kids helps families by supporting alternative therapy methods such as Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and Aqua therapy. They also help families receive needed therapy services. This organization then provides resources to help families navigate systems to get needs met for their child.

To sign up for their upcoming event, go to WeeSpeak Kids’ Facebook page or go to this website: 

$400 Granted to CGFAA Disney’s Jungle Book KIDS


“Creative Grounds Fine Arts Academy, Inc. is an Educational Theater Arts Program. The program attracts a diverse group of students from all over the Indianapolis Metropolitan area,” says Mark Landis, CGFAA, Inc. Executive Director. “We provide opportunities for students ages 8 to 18 to participate in quality local theater productions in a wholesome and encouraging environment. Students of all faiths and abilities are welcome. All who audition will be included in the show in some capacity.”

CGFAA is a nonprofit organization who gains support through countless hours of volunteer time and donations from a variety of community members. The Cornerstone Autism Foundation offers support for their programs, especially with the impact COVID-19 has left on the Arts programs.

This year the foundation granted $400 towards their Jungle Book KIDS production this year. Learn more about this amazing organization at this link.

$250 Granted to the iCan 54 Virtual Event


For several years, the foundation and Cornerstone Autism Center offered donations  to the iCan 5k events in Columbus, Indiana. This is an event organized by the Columbus Autism Network. This year, the organization has partnered with the Arc of Bartholomew County. Their slogan is, “Together we C.A.N. make a difference!”

Virtual Event

Due to COVID-19, the event will be held virtually this year. Although it may look different than a typical 5k, the Cornerstone Autism Foundation still wanted to show support for the new event. The foundation gave a $250 donation towards the cause. Donations such as this help these organizations provide local resources, advocacy, programming and training to individuals on the Autism spectrum and their families.

iCan 54

During the month of April 2021, iCAN will be hosting a month long competitive virtual 54 Mile race called the iCAN 54. This month long event will allow individuals and teams to accumulate 54 miles to compete for prizes. In addition, they are hosting several family-friendly opportunities. This will include family dinners, family outings and other celebrations that will follow all COVID protocols. To learn more about the upcoming event and how you can participate, visit their website here.

$10,000 Granted to 4 Paws for Ability


This year, the Cornerstone Autism Foundation granted a donation of $10,000 to 4 Paws for Ability. To learn more about the organization and how these funds will make an impact, we asked 4 Paws Developmental Director Kelly Camm to share information about the organization on our blog:

“We train Autism Assistance Dogs, Seizure Assistance Dogs, Mobility Assistance Dogs, Hearing Assistance Dogs, FASD/DE Assistance Dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs, Facilitated Guide Dogs, Veterans Assistance Dogs, and Alzheimer’s Assistance Dogs.

    • Service dogs are durable medical goods and task-trained to help people with disabilities and have all public access. Therapy dogs are people’s pets that they have trained to visit places with permission (hospitals, nursing homes, libraries). They cheer people up and do not have public access.
    • Autism Assistance Dogs help children with behavior disruption, tethering, and search and rescue. They can be lifesaving in many cases (search and rescue).
    • The family of a child can go to and apply.

Our organization was created over 21 years ago, and the goals when it was first created was to help people who were turned down by existing service dog organizations because they were “too disabled,” “too young,” “live too far away,” etc. Those are still goals of 4 Paws today. We strive to place as many dogs with children with disabilities as we can.

4 Paws for Ability strives to be the leading provider of service dogs for children regardless of disability as well as adult children with caregiver guardianship who cannot live independently. 4 Paws assists Veterans who have given selflessly to our country by providing service dogs which can assist with disabilities on a case by case basis as well as adults living with hearing loss, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s.

4 Paws strives to reach that mission every day by breeding dogs to have puppies, care and train for those puppies throughout their time with us, and place over 100 dogs a year for children with disabilities.

Before the Pandemic, our goal was to place over 100 dogs for children with disabilities in 2020, but depending on when we can hold classes again, that number will be much lower.

This grant will go directly to a child’s fee for service, which will help them get placed into a class much sooner than if the child’s family had to raise the money on their own. This could be lifesaving for that child.

We are so appreciative of the Cornerstone Autism Center for their generosity in trying to help children with Autism.”

$10,000 Awarded to the Autism Community Connection


This year, the Cornerstone Autism Foundation has granted $10,000 to an organization once was known as the Johnson County Autism Support Group. They are now officially the Autism Community Connection.

ACC’s Executive Director, Kelli Higgins, shares some information about the organization and their upcoming goals that these funds go towards to help individuals with autism in our local community:

“The first meeting of the Johnson County Autism Support Group was held by a small group of parents in February of 2005. The group wanted to bring more support for parents and information about local resources. A support group was formed with many different topics each month. Then it grew into a nonprofit organization with the foundation of the support group and creating social events for families to enjoy.

The Autism Community Connection serves individuals with autism and their families, in and around Johnson County area, by connecting them with community resources, social events and enriching programs to help navigate their autism journey.” Two big changes made by the Board of Directors last year was the name change of the organization and hiring an executive director. This will help the organization expand its services, information, programming, and events for Johnson County and the surrounding area.

Our goals are to work with community providers to develop a relationship that will evolve by helping more individuals and families affected by autism. These relationships will create new events, programs, and resources for the area.

This donation will allow us to continue to provide support for our current programs and events like our small group program, providing financial support for therapy sessions, My Summer Journey summer program, social events and meeting new community providers.

This is a building year for the Autism Community Connection. We will also be focusing on getting our new name out to the community and letting everyone know we are here to provide information and resources for individuals and families affected by autism along with our programs and social events.”



Cornerstone Autism Foundation Gives $2,000 to SENSES Indoor Playroom Gym


SENSES is an exciting and safe alternative to typical playgrounds open to children ages 1-6. It is designed especially for sensory play, learning and recreation. This gym is great for kids who have autism, sensory processing disorders, ADHD, Down Syndrome and all children who can benefit from sensory education and recreation. SENSES is a parent-led facility. Parents and guardians are expected to work and guide their children in learning how to safely use the equipment, toys and gadgets. Parents will also help their child engage socially with other children while they experience the various sensory toys, games and equipment.

The $2,000 awarded to SENSES will be used to build their website and Facebook presence online. They will be upgrading and improving their website; and Facebook page

Foundation Sponsors Therapeion Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.


Cornerstone Autism Foundation is a Bronze Level Sponsor for Therapeion’s Hoofin’ it for Healing 5k Run/Walk/Roll. The event will be held on Saturday, September 30 at Cumberland Park in West Lafayette, Indiana. Festivities will kick off at 9 a.m. with the Family Fun Run followed by the 5k Run/Walk/Run.

“There’s a certain kind of magic that occurs when horses and individuals with special needs come together,” said Shannon Tajc, event coordinator. “Offering the opportunity for growth and healing is at the heart of Therapeion Riding Center’s mission. Since 2007, we have been providing therapeutic riding services for children and adults with disabilities, serving approximately 50 riders each week. With a successful program comes great need, and we rely heavily on the support of generous community members to keep the programs affordable and accessible to all who need them.”

The foundation is proud to support and sponsor this event! For information about how to register, you can visit this link.

Cornerstone Sponsors Center Grove Fine Arts Academy


Center Grove Fine Arts Academy gives people with special needs the opportunity to shine in their theatrical productions. This spring, the Cornerstone Autism Foundation gave a $200 sponsorship towards their production of Beauty and the Beast.

To learn more about the Center Grove Fine Arts Academy, click here.

CGFAA 2017-18 Season


Buttermilk Mountain, Inc. Granted $1,000 for Dance Lessons


“Buttermilk Mountain hosts social events that families with disabilities look forward to and are excited to attend. 80 percent of parents of children with disabilities get divorced. By hosting fun events for the whole family, Buttermilk Mountain hopes to take the stress out of their lives, if only for one night.

Social events help create a quality of life for the entire family. They help people with special needs integrate into society and develop social skills. But most families with disabilities do not attend events that are not specifically planned for them. A mother of two children with autism wrote, ‘It has been my experience that kids with disabilities are often not easy to involve in events. Many do not adapt well to places with lots of people. Attending events with my kids is highly stressful.’ Buttermilk wants to change her mind.

Social events help people with special needs integrate into society and develop social skills. Most adults with disabilities are unemployed. In order to change that statistic in the future, children with special needs should be integrated into society. By inviting the entire family, both children with special needs and children without learn to teach everyone with respect. Everyone needs to be comfortable around people different than they are.

After receiving a grant, they asked a group of teenagers with Down syndrome how Buttermilk Mountain should spend the money. ‘Let’s take dancing lessons!’ Buttermilk Mountain rented a room at the YMCA and hired Kids Dance Outreach. For people with disabilities that did not want to dance, Buttermilk Mountain provided craft projects and sensory items.

Buttermilk Mountain plans to team up with the Autism Society of Indiana and an autism support group in Linton, Indiana to offer dance lessons to their families — all paid for by Buttermilk Mountain because of the support of this grant. The Autism Society of Indiana and the support group will help plan the events and invite their clientele.

Line dancing lessons help build self-esteem, teach social skills, require group participation and are fun!”

–Jodi Maslanka
Buttermilk Mountain, Inc.


Autistic Rhythm Receives $1,000


Autistic Rhythm put on a fundraising event on Saturday, September 17th.
The Bike Show Benefit was held at Hunter’s Moon Harley Davidson on September 17th. It featured a bike show, food, raffles, vendors and a ride that ended at Ace’s Pub in Lafayette.

” The money raised from this event will help to fund some of the non-traditional educational tools needed in classrooms as well as some home-based clients,” said Vanessa Chalifoux, Autistic Rhythm’s Fundraiser chairman.


One of the vendors at the event was 468 Motorsports. They brought their gokart that was painted for autism awareness. They also had a race for autism awareness.

Sheila Klinker made an appearance and spoke for a few minutes on auti
sm. She also judged the bike show and sat in the gokart for pictures. The ride had
27 bikes. The event had food left over and they were able to bless a group home of disabled adults as well as the Lafayette Police Department.


$1,300 Grant Awarded to Life Skills Classroom


The photo above features a sensory-friendly reading area for children with autism, cognitive challenges and communication disorders. The teacher of this classroom wrote about the project below and how the grant helped her create this library for her students.

“Within my classroom, there are various educational challenges to develop reading skills. A child with autism exhibits impairments in communication, social interaction and behavior. These three core areas of impairment can directly affect reading development.

The purpose of the project is to create a quiet, cozy and sensory friendly reading area within my classroom to enhance the skills of students with communication, social interaction and positive behavior responses. The reading area includes:

1. Special interest reading areas for the students

2. Regulation of sensory input

3. Incorporation of Technology

Without a designated quiet and sensory based reading center, general classroom distractions can be overwhelming to students with intense learning challenges. The designated and separate reading area provides an opportunity for students, who need a high level of structure, to experience literacy success and build upon that success for greater skills enhancement and independence. This will enable students to have the potential to become life-long learners, be gainfully employed, and to be productive citizens.”

-Cindy Grieger
Life Skills Teacher
Monon Trail Elementary


$500 Grant Awarded to Archers For Autism Archery Club


Archers for Autism is a state licensed archery club with a full membership of children with autism. They meet bi-weekly, approximately 13 times per year at the Outdoorsman archery range in Greenwood, Indiana. Archers for Autism is in their second year of existence, and membership has grown from 7 participants to over 30 participants in the first year. The club helps to promote peer interaction with the children and provide networking opportunities for the families. This year they will have a field trip to Brown County Indiana. This field trip will introduce the children to outdoor shooting, the arrow fletching technique and basic field craft.

The Outdoorsman archery range charges $7.00 per shooter, per day. It is the club’s goal to keep the program free for the families as some families have more than one child involved. The grant awarded will help the organization meet this goal for the year.

The archery program not only helps the children they serve, but also provides public education to the archery community in the areas of how archery and autism compliment each other as a sport. The archery program helps the children learn patience, physical and mental endurance, hand-eye coordination and a feeling of accomplishment. Archers for Autism utilizes the Minds in Motion program and compliments the program with visiting Occupational Therapists who work with the children while they are on a break.

Photo Credit: The Indianapolis Star

Jameson Camp Receives $2,000 Grant


For over 80 years, Jameson Camp has been impacting the lives of young people through their award-winning camp experience designed to develop self respect and confidence, and respect for others and the world around us. This year the Cornerstone Autism Foundation awarded the camp a $2,000 grant for their events.

“Without the generous contribution from The Cornerstone Autism Foundation, these events would not be possible.

The Jameson Camp Youth Leaders helped put on our Annual Spring Fling at Jameson Camp on March 21, 2015.  This was a free community event that included carnival games, archery, rock climbing, camp tours and food. We had a record setting year with over 380 attendees!

Jameson Camp 1Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.41.31 AM

A group of eight Jameson Camp Youth Leaders spent a week of their Spring Break down in Foley, Alabama. During the time they were down there, they were able to provide assistance with yard work to elderly people in the community.  These teens had a great time learning about what it means to give back.” – Ali Danforth, Program Manager – Youth Leadership

Jameson Camp 4 Jameson Camp 3

Grant awarded to FIATS program in Westfield, IN


An elementary FIATS (Functional Independent and Transition Skills) program in Westfield, IN received a grant from the Cornerstone Autism Foundation. The grant was used to buy supplies that would facilitate a structured learning enviroment using TEACCH.

“I would like to thank Cornerstone Autism Foundation for the generous grant recently awarded to me. The Foundation’s mission is outstanding and I am honored to have been chosen as a recipient. Thank you for providing an opportunity to request funds to support students with autism.

I used the grant to purchase free standing office dividers to place between student work stations within my classroom. The dividers provide privacy, defines individual work space and controls noise and distractions. Without dividers, the student work areas are not defined and general classroom distractions can be overwhelming to students with intense learning challenges.

Within my classroom, I use the structured teaching model. The teaching model empowers students to work within their own work stations and complete a series of tasks. The model teaches students to learn what the work is, what they are to do, and what to do when they are finished. The grant purchase allowed me to create designated and divided learning areas and provide an opportunity for students needing a high level of structure to experience success for greater skill enhancement and independence. The work-station dividers allow my students to focus on the purpose of each task by reducing potential visual distractions. Thank you again for the generous financial support!” – C. Grieger

Cubes 1[2] Cubes 3[1] Cubes 2[1]

2nd Annual Make It Happen David Ide Memorial Run


The 2nd Annual Make It Happen David Ide memorial run will take place on September 20th with registration beginning at 8 a.m.

This event is more than a 1 mile and 5k. It is a family fun day full of activities and resources you won’t want to miss! All proceeds will benefit the Cornerstone Autism Foundation.

Do you have kids? We will have a bounce house, kids fun run and petting zoo! Do you like exercise? We will have Zumba and Pound demos before, during and after the walk/run. Does your family have food sensitivities? We will have all-natural gluten-free samples for you to try.

Don’t miss out – mark your calendar and register online today! 
“Like” us on facebook for updates & more information.


Cornerstone Donates to Greenwood’s First Splash Pad!


Cornerstone Autism Foundation is a proud donor to the new City Center Park, a 5-acre park located at 415 Lincoln Street in Greenwood, IN. The park includes Greenwood’s first Splash Pad–an interactive water feature that appeals to kids of all ages, including the many special needs children in the community. The park is fully-accessible, from the Splash Pad to the playground structures. The park also features walking trails, a gazebo shade structure, basketball courts, picnic areas, open play areas and restrooms.

Splash Pad-resized-600Park photo-resized-600

The donation was specifically earmarked for a special bench in the park that will serve as a lasting memorial to David Ide, co-founder of Cornerstone Autism Center and the Foundation. He would be pleased to know that children of all ages and abilities have access to this beautiful park, and we at Cornerstone are proud to have our name attached to this wonderful project!

Foundation Awards Grant for Sensory Room


Cornerstone Autism Foundation is proud to have been a key donor for the building of a new sensory room at Rise, Inc. Founded in 1965, Rise, Inc. is a non-profit rehabilitation and training facility for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities, including autism.

The new sensory room was designed for persons on the autism spectrum. This specialized area includes textile sensory items, furniture such as bean bag chairs and hammock swings, weighted blankets, a touch-screen computer, sensory games and floor mats. This area, while conducive for learning, also provides a calming environment for children that become overstimulated in a more traditional setting.

Cornerstone Sponsors Jack’s Walk for Autism

Jack's Walk Logo-resized-600

Cornerstone was proud to sponsor the 10th Annual Jack’s Walk for Autism, an event that is held annually in Province Park. The sponsorship funds went to support Johnson County Autism Support Group and the wonderful job they do supporting families in that area affected by autism.

Our donation helped make their summer program a success. Camp Can Do is a summer day camp for teens on the autism spectrum. Campers spend their days developing life skills through activities including food preparation, science experiments and community outings.

Cornerstone Autism Foundation gives 5 iPads to Bauer Family Resources


Classroom gets five iPads to help children diagnosed with autism

Due to the tremendous support from Eagle Harley-Davidson and The Harley Owners Group (HOG), Cornerstone Autism Foundation was able to deliver 5 iPads to Bauer Family Resources. The iPads will give Bauer an advantage when helping children with autism in the Tippecanoe County area.

TherAplay Receives Grant For New Therapeutic Listening Program


Recently The Children’s TherAplay Foundation received a thousand dollar grant from The Cornerstone Autism Foundation. The grant allow’s TherAplay to begin a new Therapeutic Listening program at their institute.

Image: Lisa Kobek & David Ide

Therapeutic Listening allows children to listen without judging. Occupational therapists use therapeutic listening to help the speaker change or progress in some way (Link). The program has benefits toward many disorders, and shows promise towards different forms Autism Spectrum Disorder.

TherAplay, a non-profit organization located in Carmel Indiana, is a outpatient rehabilitation clinic for children with special needs. TherAplay incorporates the movement of horses (hippotherapy) and theraputic riding into physical and occupational therapy.

To learn more about TherAplay and their services follow the links above.

To follow their blogs about Therapeutic Listening click the LINK

Grant Approved for Johnson County Autism Support Group


Johnson Cty Sppt Grp
Image: Amanda Coooper, Shiela Benham, & David Ide

Recently the Cornerstone Autism Foundation approved a thousand dollar grant to the Johnson County Autism Support Group. The grant will go towards their summer camp for children with autism, Camp Can Do.

Board directors Amanda Cooper and Sheila Benham were presented with the funds to help with their summer camp by Cornerstone board director David Ide.

The Johnson County Autism Support Group provide support to families affected by autism.

The group originally formed to provide a resource for families affected by autism and financially assist children needing therapy. It continues to do these things today, and has expanded efforts to include social events like Camp Can Do, golf outings, & Jack’s Walk for Autism.

Cornerstone Autism Foundation Receives Donations from HOG Ride

David Ide accepts donations from Jerry & Annie Charity Ride.
Presenters are Eagle Harley-Davidson & the Harley Owners Group.

Cornerstone Autism Foundation’s First Charity Event Big Success!


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Saturday, June 23rd 2012 was a big day for Cornerstone Autism Foundation! It marked the foundation’s first fundraiser to support its mission of assisting non-profit organizations maximize the impact they have with individuals and families struggling with autism.

The “3rd Annual Jerry and Annie Charity Ride”, presented by the Mid-North Indiana Harley Owners Group (HOG) Chapter #1188 and Eagle Harley Davidson to benefit the foundation, was launched from the Cornerstone Autism Center located in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette at 12:30 p.m. This annual motorcycle ride is held every year to raise money for a worthy cause. Cornerstone Autism Foundation was contacted this year by the HOGs when they became aware of the impact technology (in particular iPads) has on individuals with autism and wanted to get involved. The proceeds of the event will allow our newly established foundation the opportunity to purchase iPads for local early-intervention organizations. In addition, it is hoped we’ll have incremental funds to support Project Lifesaver. This innovative program allows tracking of individuals with autism that have a tendency to run away from caretakers.

Cornerstone Autism Foundation assisted with the morning registration and launch. David Ide, CEO of Cornerstone Autism Center, founder of the Cornerstone Autism Foundation, and father of a child who has autism, gave a speech thanking the audience for all their support. Next up was Margaret Patterson, Tippecanoe County Sheriff Volunteer, who gave a short description of Project Lifesaver. Lastly, Tim Heath, Fire Chief of the West Lafayette Fire Department and father of a child with autism, spoke on behalf of Mayor John Dennis and personally thanked the HOG riders and Cornerstone Autism Foundation for the positive impact they are having in the area. HOG, Kathe Bell, owner of Eagle Harley Davidson and host of the evening post-ride event, helped coordinate the HOG crew during the proceedings. All said, it was the gathering place of almost 400 riders and close to 500 attendees.


The Cornerstone Autism Foundation received amazing support from several additional entities in the community to ensure the success of this first event. The Tecumseh Junior High spirit squad volunteered their time to set up, apply temporary tattoos/face paint, and prepare food and beverages to the riders and attendees. A special treat by the spirit squad was a cheer prepared exclusively for the event. Dog N Suds donated hotdogs, buns, and root beer for people to munch on as the afternoon grew closer. State Farm Insurance employees of agent Mike Kornafel set up a booth to pass out information and sponsored the event. Payless grocery store in Lafayette donated bottles of water and Payless in West Lafayette gave various kinds of cookies to snack on. Café Lumos, a coffee shop situated in Purdue Research Park, helped supply the foundation with cold and hot coffee, and the West Lafayette Marsh grocery store donated a cake to give the HOG riders at the end of their ride thanking them for their awesome support. The West Lafayette Police department offered their support by helping the bikers make a smooth transition on to the streets.

Check back soon for photos of the fun filled event.

Below are links from:

local TV station WLFI who provided interviews and coverage of the event

and Purdue University’s Research Park newsletter detailing the ride