Virginia bankers make donations

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management graduating class of 2018 recently presented more than $4,600 to Project Lifesaver and additional monies and supplies to Virginia Institute of Autism.

The funds and donations were raised this summer through a collaborative effort organized by the graduating class and in cooperation with the other 189 bankers in the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management.

Project Lifesaver is the premier search and rescue program operated internationally by public safety agencies. The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition.

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The Virginia Institute of Autism is dedicated to helping people overcome the challenges of autism through innovative, evidence-based programs in education, outreach and adult services.

The majority of the funds were raised for Project Lifesaver through students’ participation in a bowling fundraiser event at AMF Kegler’s Lanes in Charlottesville. This year, the graduating class also coordinated a supply drive based on the autism institute’s wish list, and students donated items including stuffed animals and art and cooking supplies.

“We at VIA are so grateful for the generous contributions that this year’s class made to support our students,” said Larry Garretson, director of communications at Virginia Institute of Autism. “Supplies like these are critically important to our work — providing rewards for student learning and materials for developing creative skills and life skills. Our students are loving the new supplies already.”

Jennifer M. Dixon, Peoples Community Bank and third year class charity chair, said of the fundraising efforts, “I am so proud of our Class of 2018 for recognizing the need and choosing to support two amazing organizations to promote autism awareness. As a grandparent of two autism spectrum disorder diagnosed children, I now understand the importance of educating our communities so that our autism families feel included, supported and have access to the best treatment options for their loved ones. The work the VIA is doing gives children their best chance of living an independent life one day, and the Project Lifesaver program gives parents their best chance of recovering their children who wander away from home. God bless the people who give of themselves to help our autism families.”

Each graduating class of the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management selects a charity to support during their final year of the program.  Past charity recipients include UVA Children’s Hospital, Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Special Olympics Virginia, the Roc Solid Foundation, the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.