The New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC) foundation has been serving families in southern Queens for almost 20 years, but they could not do it without the help of people from the community, said Andrew Baumann, president of the board of trustees for the foundation.
And NYFAC held an award ceremony on Thursday to honor those special people who have helped the organization grow.
“We started off with five families,” said Baumann. “But with your help we’ve been able to grow and help more children around our area.”
Over 300 people came out to Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach as NYFAC honored six people for their involvement in the foundation. They gave awards for man of the year, community service, advocate of the year, the hero award, community partnership award and the guardian angel award. Along with a trophy, each person received a proclamation from the state Assembly, a citation from the state Senate and a proclamation from the City Council.
“Folks like Andrew and his wife are what makes a community great,” said Borough President Melinda Katz, who accepted the guardian angel award.
Katz also named Feb. 26 “NYFAC Day” in the borough of Queens after her acceptance.
Baumann was elated because of the honor and said he was so happy he has been able to help so many children throughout the years. He showed a commercial he had made for the foundation, which gave statistics of autism cases such as how one in every 68 children is diagnosed on the spectrum.
The video ended with what Baumann said is the sole purpose of NYFAC: “Helping parents help their children, one family at a time.”
Councilman Eric Ulrich was one of the people in attendance and was grateful for all NYFAC has done in the community.
“This is the only organization in this part of Queens to provide these great services,” he said. “They inspire children to work towards their full potential and help people live good and happy lives.”