ECAP to honor Butchikas Foundation for 15 years, $500,000 of support

Becky Kelly

FSU Panama City will host a press conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at the entrance of the Early Childhood Autism Program Parent Resource Center to announce the George A. Butchikas Autism Foundation’s most recent contribution to support the FSU Early Childhood Autism Program (ECAP). This year’s gift brings the Butchikas Foundation’s total giving to more than half a million dollars over the past 15 years, which would welcome them into the next level of donor recognition societies offered by the FSU Foundation and FSU Panama City.

“My colleagues and I are grateful to the George A. Butchikas Foundation for Autism for the continued and generous financial support it has provided to local families in need through Florida State’s Early Childhood Autism Program,” said Tom Jennings, vice president for University Advancement and president of the FSU Foundation. “This support is a lifeline for families in Bay County who would otherwise be unable to get the services their children need. The long-term vision and philanthropic support of the Butchikas Foundation coupled with the outstanding work being done at FSU’s Early Childhood Autism Program is a powerful combination and will have a far-reaching impact on area families. I am grateful to the Foundation and to George and Carolyn Butchikas for helping Florida State expand its services in Panama City.”

Through applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, ECAP helps children with autism to learn language, social, cognitive and academic skills. The clinic also serves as a learning tool for ABA master’s students.

The partnership between the Butchikas Foundation, the ABA program and ECAP began in 2002 soon after the programs were established at FSU Panama City. Thanks to the foundation’s annual donation, families who might not otherwise be able to seek therapy for their children have access to ECAP through the Butchikas scholarship.

“The primary reason we started the [Butchikas] foundation was to assist local families dealing with the challenges of autism,” George Butchikas said. “This partnership helps us do that.”

“ECAP is the only nonprofit autism ABA treatment program in our local community that has a scholarship so that families — whether insured or not — can access these services,” said Amy Polick, Ph.D, BCBA-D, director of ECAP. “We aim to treat children effectively with ABA, which has been deemed medically necessary for children with autism, and it is important to us that families get these services without taking out second mortgages or loans to pay for the help they need.”

For additional information about the Butchikas Autism Foundation, contact Carolyn Butchikas, Foundation Director, at 850-258-3588.  For additional information about ECAP, contact Amy Polick, Ph.D. at 850-770-2252 or visit pc.fsu.edu/ecap.

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