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Local fundraiser exceeds goal

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By Johnathan Ryan

Lancaster County came through in 2007 in raising money for the Charlotte Autism Speaks chapter.

Local volunteers, headed by Evelyn Springs, whose grandson, Malik Springs, 5, has autism, raised $11,060. The drive culminated with an international food banquet at the Leroy Springs Fairway Room last October.

The fundraising goal was $10,000 - more than four times the $2,400 raised in 2006.

The money raised went to Autism Speaks, which will use the funds to help pay for research into the cause and care of the disorder.

"Lancaster did so well," Springs said. "The way I look at the results, Lancaster came in No. 2 out of the 120 teams."

Volunteers here placed second out of 120 teams that didn't representing businesses, but third out of a total field that included business sponsors such as Wachovia. The total field included more than 150 teams in the Charlotte region.

The Lancaster County team earned "platinum" status for raising more than $10,000.

Founder's Federal Credit Union was a major sponsor. It donated $5,000 and also contributed to the banquet's decorations and preparation.

"Their contribution made a big difference," said Springs, who's already working on this year's fundraiser.

The event is planned for Sept. 30 at the Fairway Room. Once again, Springs, a food enthusiast, said food will be the major draw. There will also be an auction, for which she hopes someone will donate a car to be auctioned off.

"That would be great," she said.

Springs hopes to raise $25,000 this year. Local businesses are already looking for ways to donate and get involved, she said.

For details on how to participate, call Springs at 287-2578. To learn more about Autism Speaks, a nonprofit organization, go to www.autismspeaks.org

Contact Johnathan Ryan at 416-8416 or jryan@thelancasternews.com