Turning Pointe raffle for Toyota hybrid to help fund support for families of students with autism

  • Saturday Respite helps Turning Pointe Foundation families have a few stress-free hours to themselves while their children are safe and social with expert staff. Raffle ticket sales for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone will help fund comprehensive family support programs.

    Saturday Respite helps Turning Pointe Foundation families have a few stress-free hours to themselves while their children are safe and social with expert staff. Raffle ticket sales for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone will help fund comprehensive family support programs. Courtesy of Turning Pointe Autism Foundation

 
 
Updated 11/10/2022 3:00 PM

The annual Turning Pointe raffle will prove lucky for one family who will win an MSRP $80,000 2023 Toyota Sequoia Capstone Twin Turbo V6 Hybrid SUV for the cost of a $100 ticket.

But for scores of autistic students and their families who attend Turning Pointe, the proceeds of the raffle will provide critical funds to aid the Family Support and Respite activities at Turning Pointe.

 

Thanks to Toyota of Naperville, a member of the Dan Wolf Automotive Group, Turning Pointe is selling just 2000 tickets at $100 each for the luxury family SUV.

The winning ticket will be drawn on Thursday, Dec. 15, at Toyota of Naperville, 1488 W. Ogden Ave. in Naperville. Details will follow. The winner need not be present to win.

"Our journey with autism has been a roller-coaster ever since my son was diagnosed at age 3," says mom Gia. "Dominick is self-injurious, non-verbal, suffers from seizures and is now more physically aggressive in puberty. Trying to raise him can be very frustrating and it can be a struggle to try to understand what he needs. I suffer from depression and anxiety. Some days I have felt very alone.

"But the support I have gotten from Turning Pointe has changed our lives. The expertise and resources they have shared with me have changed our ability to get my son transportation, medical and dental resources , in-home behavioral therapy," Gia said. "The communication is constant, and our relationship is truly collaborative. They make sure that I understand everything Dom learns at school and how to carry that over to life at home. It's made a huge difference for all of us ."

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"Our son Alex needs to be under constant supervision," says dad Arnold." Even though he's 19, it's kind of like raising a toddler. If I step away for a moment I'm still worrying that he'll need something and not be able to find me to get help. Everything about our family life revolves around him.

"My wife and I are always on guard. But since we've been at Turning Pointe, instead of living in a bubble, we have been empowered with Family Support seminars on legal, financial and health issues," Arnold said. "As Alex's behavior has become more manageable, his relationship with his sister has improved, and we've learned so much that now we can take him on outings and even travel."

"This is an important and exciting fundraiser for Turning Pointe," says Carrie Provenzale, executive director. "The funding it generates gives us an opportunity to support the growing number of families living with children impacted by autism. We know best-practice interventions can vastly improve students' future independence. The past few years, as more families have learned of an autism diagnosis, supports have been stretched and classrooms at other providers have closed from the pandemic. The raffle funds will allow Turning Pointe to continue expanding support for families."

Arnold says the Saturday Respite program allows Alex to be among friends and staff who understand him and keep him safe.

"My wife and I can actually do things together, like enjoy a meal in a 'non-Alex-friendly' restaurant and just let our guard down for a bit. It's a program that he enjoys, and he can spend time with neuro-typical high school student volunteers who help him socialize. Before Turning Pointe our life was chaos -- it really was hell. But Turning Pointe has become our family and now we see hope."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Gia agrees. " I basically didn't leave my house for 10 years," she says. "Thanks to the Family Support we receive, the improvement to our daily life has been profound. Thanks to the Respite Program I can spend quality time with my younger son. So many families are dealing with this in silence.

"At Turning Pointe, I have found people who know what they're doing, who can offer the resources I need and do it with love," Gia said. "They don't just support my family; they have become my family."

Turning Pointe Autism Foundation was founded 15 years ago by Kim and Randy Wolf, parents of an autistic son, and members of the Naperville community, along with a team of professionals to build on programming which proved effective for a small group of children diagnosed with Autism. Turning Pointe strives to raise the quality of educational support for children and young adults with autism. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the organization relies on the partnership of volunteers, donors, school districts, and Employment Partners to build a thriving center for students learning with autism.

For more information on Turning Pointe Autism Foundation's Day School for students from age 5-22 and their Adult Services offering support for independent living and employment visit turningpointeautismfoundation.org.

To buy tickets to the 2022 Toyota Sequoia Capstone Raffle by Dec. 15, visit turningpointeautismfoundation.org/2022-toyota-raffle/.