Charity dinner to help keep autism network alive

Charity dinner: Autism Community Network founder Steve Drakoulis alongside charity dinner organisers Jane Theo (centre) and Irene Adam. Picture: John Veage

Charity dinner: Autism Community Network founder Steve Drakoulis alongside charity dinner organisers Jane Theo (centre) and Irene Adam. Picture: John Veage

Steve Drakoulis knows better than most how hard it can be to run an organisation off donations and grants.

Mr Drakoulis has been running Autism Community Network since 2011, based at Illawong.

The organisation supports about 1100 families across Sydney affected by autism and is often short on funds.

Fortunately, a pair of supporters has decided to organise a charity dinner in Sans Souci in June to keep the organisation going. Mr Drakoulis said he was very grateful for the help.

“We would shut the doors if we did not get this type of support,” Mr Drakoulis said. “We keep growing and it is harder and harder to operate.”

The charity dinner is being held on Saturday, June 10 at the St George Sailing Club in Sans Souci. Organisers Jane Theo and Irene Adam are hoping to pack out the event by selling all 200 tickets to the dinner.

Mr Drakoulis said it was a huge help for the network – which itself helps parents and families affected by autism by running support groups. It also holds social groups and events for children with autism.

“The network is something that is really needed and people seem to like what we do and how we do it.”

Mr Drakoulis explained the organisation does not receive any government funding and runs off donations and grants.

Supporter Mrs Theo said the network really helped her, when her son was diagnosed with mild autism.

She said she remembered going through stacks of paper work and getting really lost after finding out her son had mild autism. “It helped me a lot personally with my son,” she said. “We are a group of families helping out other families by giving advice to one another.”

She said her and her cousin, Mrs Adam, decided to run the up-coming charity dinner to support the organisation. “I was wanting to give back and help out where I can, and try and keep it afloat and not let it diminish.”

To book a ticket ($89) for the charity dinner on June 10 click here or contact Jane on 0435 593 249.

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