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  Feature Story                                                                                                                                                     Friday, Dec 15, 2017

 

Community

Taking a Swing at Autism

Tourney raises money to help families struck by illness

By Dawn Donahue, PAFN

 

Steve Saccomano (l) presents cheque to Wendy Lisogar Cocchia and Sergio Cocchia, PAFN Founders. Kathy Fitzpatrick, KF Photo

 

he 9th annual Saccomaniacs Agriculture for Autism tournament raised $70,000 for Pacific Autism Family Network

Steve and Antoinette Saccomano of Chilliwack BC, and their family, started a family and friends golf tournament in 2008. Plans are underway for the 10th annual, August 13, 2018.

Steve Saccomano says: “We started this event to create awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and to raise funds for Autism programs. Autism touched our lives more than 15 years ago and we turned to many support groups and organizations for guidance and help. Our golf tournament is our way of giving back to the Autism Community.”



The Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN), is a registered Canadian charity that supports individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families, and has been the recipient of all funds raised at this event since 2014.

“With the Saccomano family having so far raised over $200,000 for our Pacific Autism Family Network through their annual Saccomaniacs Golf Tournament, they have truly made a tremendous difference. We’re so fortunate to have them in our Pacific Autism family as such long-time supporters of ours” says Sergio Cocchia, Co-Founder and Board Chair, Pacific Autism Family Network. “Now that our main centre is opened and operating in Richmond BC, their raised funds are being directed towards our future Fraser Valley spoke location which is going to make a huge difference in helping us ensure available services for families in that region, faster.”

Saccomano went on to say: “We have raised close to $300,000 since 2009 and look to build on this amount going forward, with the goal of establishing a PAFN spoke office in the Fraser Valley.”

It takes approximately $250,000 to open a new PAFN Spoke location, and to support the operations of a Spoke year after year about $100,000 is required annually, outside of the first year. All PAFN Spoke locations are outfitted to offer the same resources that are available at PAFN’s GoodLife Fitness Family Autism Hub in Richmond.

“We are thrilled that we have received so much support in our endeavour” Saccomano said. “Together with my family, friends and the agriculture community, we are very proud to be planning our 10th annual Saccomaniacs Agriculture for Autism Golf Tournament. My family and I look to continue this legacy for many years to come.”

The Saccomaniacs Agriculture for Autism Tournament and Tradeshow has over 180 golfers, 65 volunteers, and 200+ attendees at the dinner.  For further information on the 10th annual see www.saccomaniacsgolf.com.

 


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