State Representative Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) recently received the Marie McGaughey Childhood Philanthropy Award from the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism (MRCA) for his long history serving as an advocate for Georgia’s children, particularly those with developmental disabilities like Autism.
“Ron was a natural pick for this award,” said Kim Reardon, founder and Director Emerita of MRCA. “He is always ready to lead the fight for positive change in this community.” President and CEO Patti Victor continues, “Ron has been a consistent and effective advocate for quality healthcare and access to vital support services for children with autism and other developmental challenges.”
The award will be formally presented at the 2019 Autism Conference at the Savannah Convention Center on March 1, 2019.
“Ron has a long history with the Matthew Reardon Center,” said CEO Patti Victor. “It was very moving to watch him as he toured our wonderful new facility and met and talked with students. Ron was a champion for us when we started 18 years ago in a few clinical rooms, later when we moved to carved-out office space and, now, as we begin a new era of serving southeast Georgia’s autism community in this beautiful school setting. We - our students, families and community - owe great gratitude to the Chatham Legislative Delegation for their ongoing support and to St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church, host at our new location.”
MRCA operates southeast Georgia’s only accredited year-round day school for children with autism. They have provided advocacy and outreach services to more than 900 families across southeast Georgia and have hosted professional training and instructional opportunities for more than 4,500 family members, educators, health professionals and self-advocates. The organization was incorporated in 2000 and currently serves 27 students through ADVANCE Academy.
Representative Ron Stephens represents the citizens of District 164, which includes portions of Bryan, Chatham, and Liberty counties.