GALLERY: Bowled over by community's support
THE South Burnett Autism Support Group took to the Kingaroy Bowls Club green to raise funds and awareness on Sunday.
Organiser Jenny Lutz said community events were important for the group.
"Since we're a totally self-funded organisation, we rely on community fundraisers and outings like this to keep us going,” she said.
"This is the third year the Rotary Club has helped us put on this event - we're very grateful to them.
"We've had at least 15 group members attend our event today, along with their friends and family and a lot of locals too.
"We all really appreciate the support.”
The support group has been running for 24 years and has made a huge difference to the community.
"As well as the Autism Support Group we also now have our Aspie Support Group up and running,” Ms Lutz said.
"Our oldest member is my son, he's 36. We have about 10 or so members.
"They have regular get-togethers and we organise monthly outings.
"We've been taking them to play with Lego, take part in skirmish, and so much more.”
The bowls event attracted a mix of Autism Support Group members and Aspie Support Group members.
"Activities such as this are an important chance for our local community to see that we're not any different to them really,” Ms Lutz said.
"We're people too. We're just like everybody else.
"Everybody is different in their own way and that's something that should be celebrated.
"We just really want for people to understand that these guys can communicate quite effectively with the general public.”
Ms Lutz said she believed there was still an unhealthy stigma associated with autism.
"Even though we've got one in 68 births being autistic, it's still not talked about or regarded as being normal,” she said.
"People just don't know much about it, or have much to do with us really.
"We as a group just want to help and support as many people as possible - those with and without autism - it really doesn't matter, we're all the same.”
Ms Lutz said the money raised at the bowls event would help keep the group up and running.
"The money from today will go towards our trailer,” Ms Lutz said.
"We need to get it painted and registered ...
"Since we don't actually have an office we need this to take with us everywhere we go to keep everything we need.”