120417-blm-loc-1autism

In this May 14, 2016, file photo, people on the autism spectrum and their families and supporters form a living replica of the Autism Friendly Community logo on Uptown Circle in Normal.

STEVE SMEDLEY, PANTAGRAPH FILE PHOTO

NORMAL — Autism McLean honored 12 individuals who have made a positive difference in the lives of people with autism during its annual meeting and holiday party Saturday at the Children's Discovery Museum.

Autism McLean, formerly Autism Society of McLean County, was founded in 2002 to help children and adults with autism, to raise awareness and foster community support for people with autism.

Awards distributed on Saturday were:

  • Above and Beyond Autism Champion to Betsy Drillon of Normal and John Fischer of the Normal Public Library for founding the Autism Cafe in the library, and to Jason Brimm of Independent Kinsmen in Normal.
  • Excellent Educator to Tom Parton and Karen Bohl, both of Normal.
  • Community Partners to Marcfirst and its CEO, Laura Furlong, for helping to launch the Autism Friendly Community campaign.
  • Shine Award, recognizing individuals who improve the lives of individuals with autism, to Nick Bolin and Alexzander Woith, both of Normal.
  • Gold Star Member to Erik Heinonen of Bloomington and Kari Sandhaas of Normal.
  • Sibling Award to Quincy Winston of Bloomington and Mason Lewis of Pekin.

Follow Paul Swiech on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Editor for The Pantagraph.

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