For the entire month of April, approximately 30 dealers throughout Naperville and nationwide are donating $20 per test drive to the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation in order to raise awareness and to give back in a fun way.
Today, one in 68 kids fall on the autism spectrum. While they all have special educational needs, their symptoms and necessary supports vary person to person.
“There’s a saying around here, ‘if you’ve met 1 person with autism, you’ve met 1 person with autism,’” said Carrie Provinzale, executive director of Turning Pointe Autism Foundation. “Just like all of us they have a wide variety of behaviors and different interests and abilities.”
To meet those unique needs, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation has programs including a therapeutic day school and a career college – programs that test drives in April help fund.
“This year Turning Pointe hopes to raise over $100,000 in this unique fundraiser and we have a whole month to do it but we need everybody to get behind us and behind the wheel,” said Provinzale.
This is the eighth year of Test Drives for Autism, and dealers report a lot of support from the community. People come in to drive even if they’re not in the market for a car.
“They come along and share their stories about how they were impacted by autism or their children and their neighbors. They’re excited about what we’re doing and to participate and to help as well.”
Another way that Lexus of Naperville helps give back is with a café in its waiting area. Proceeds from which go back to Turning Pointe.
And the café employs alumni of Turning Pointe’s career college.
“This is an opportunity to take individuals that have gifts and talents and actually use their gifts and talents in a productive way and give back to society.”
If you want to take a test drive for autism, go to the Turning Pointe Autism Foundation’s website. They have a list of participating dealers who will get you behind the wheel of a good cause.
Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.