by SHANTEL WEAVER and CIERA SMITH
One of Tiffin University’s sororities, Alpha Iota, is hosting its annual autism awareness dinner, the Alpha Affair.
The event is at 6 p.m. in the Marion Center on Saturday April 7. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 a person and includes dinner and qualifies you for entry to win a door prize.
The event will feature a silent auction with over $6,000 in items to bid on. There will also be a Chinese style raffle, where tickets are placed in a jar of the basket the person would like to win. After all tickets are dispersed the winning ticket will be called for each prize.
All proceeds from the auction, raffle and ticket sales go to Bittersweet Farms in Toledo and will be hand delivered by several members of the sorority.
“The main philosophy of Bittersweet Farms is not to do for people but to do alongside in partnership,” said Tammy chambers, quality of life specialist, in the website's video.
Bittersweet Farms relies on a combination of federal, state and private sources, with private sources and donations making up an important share of its growth and success
Bittersweet Farms has one mission: to positively impact the lives of people with autism and those whose lives they have touched.
The program was started by Bettye Ruth Kay in the mid-1970s where people with autism could work, play, and grow to their fullest potential.
Ben, a participant at the farm said during the video, “What I love the most is that I’m being understood for my disability.”
According to the organizations website, Bittersweet Farms prides itself on recognizing the needs and unique qualities of the individuals with autism and being able to address those needs appropriately.
Valerie French, creative arts manager at Bittersweet Farms said in the video, “If I had thought that there were limits when I meet these people, we wouldn’t have ever gotten there,” when speaking in regards to the development of Jimmy and Phil, two of the participants in the vocational program.
Kimberly Stults, the guest speaker at the event, has a 23-year-old daughter with autism, named Lorena who inspired her to write her book, “Lessons from Lorena: Living with Autism.”
Alpha Iota asks its keynote speakers to choose a recipient for the proceeds raised at the event and Stults chose Bittersweet Farms for all the work they have done for the autism community.