Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:
Autism affects one out of every 88 children and continues to increase. More children this year will be diagnosed with Autism than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood diseases. These shocking statistics show that autism is an epidemic and needs continual awareness and support. April is Autism Awareness month so what better time to spread the word of how to help.
Autism Awareness holds a special place in my heart as my best friend from college has an autistic son that is now 20 years old. I have seen first hand the difficulties and challenges she has had to endure and continues to face with this disorder. Her situation sparked a fire in me years ago to do all I can to help raise awareness.
XIKAR has been teaming up with En Fuego Tobacco Shop in Rockwell, TX to host an Annual Golf Tournament benefiting Autism. This annual tournament is held to raise awareness and funding for nonPareil ("no two are alike") Institute in Plano, TX. This is a nonprofit corporation that is dedicated to providing technical training to students who have been diagnosed with autism. The programs are technology based and prepare individuals for the possibility to enter into employment at some point in their future. They learn teamwork, create a sense of community, and achieve fulfilled lives. En Fuego Tobacco Shop's Annual Golf Tournament raised over $24,000 for the nonPareil institute last year. "Though, there are still many questions not answered about this disability, our partnership with nonPareil has helped make great strides in taking kids that the world has written off and turning them into contributing members of society," Lee Moore, owner of En Fuego Tobacco Shop said.
Your support is needed NOW. Join in the fight to help support, autism education, awareness, advocacy, research and most importantly, enable us to assist children and families living with autism. Check out Autism Speaks or Autism Society to get involved.
Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder