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Stella Maris School steps up to aid those with autism

Children and Staff of Stella Maris School pose with donation cheque.

A local elementary school continues to do its part to assist people with autism.

Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School presented a cheque for $1,500 to Autism Ontario, with west region program co-ordinator Livia Congi at the Girard St. school last Wednesday morning to accept a cheque on behalf of the organization.

Educational assistants Tina Leblanc and Michelle Connell helped present school fundraisers and were the ones presenting the cheque, along with several students they help support, to Congi.

Connell stated it was the second year they sold popsicles as a fundraiser for Autism Ontario and Leblanc added it was the third year overall that Stella Maris has done some sort of fundraiser for autism. Connell explained that popsicles were sold at recess time with students able to obtain them in a “drive-thru” type format where kids could go up to a window and buy one.

Leblanc added there were other fundraisers that helped boost the overall amount, as there were T-shirts sold and raffle baskets available for staff to purchase.

“That helped with the total,” she said.

Stella Maris held a kickoff assembly April 8 where students learned about autism and why they should help the cause. Leblanc said it was “a very touching” assembly and that some people were seen crying during it. She added the entire school did a great job supporting this year’s campaign.

“It was a great success,” she stated.

Each student in the school created an autism infinity spectrum symbol and they were posted outside of the school’s gymnasium during the campaign.

There are roughly a dozen students at Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School with autism, though their needs vary as some are high functioning while others need more supports.

Congi was pleased with the amount of donations raised by Stella Maris.

“It will stay local to Essex County,” she said of the proceeds.

Congi added Autism Ontario supports people and families if a person’s diagnosis is still being processed right through to people who need assistance for the rest of their lives.

For more information about Autism Ontario, visit or call 1-800-472-7789.

Stella Maris School steps up to aid those with autism

By Ron Giofu

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