Mark Lyons has once again stepped up and raised a significant amount of money for One Kid Place in support of Autism.
Lyons ran a sock campaign during the pandemic and officials at One Kids Place say he raised $4,500 which will go toward a piece of equipment called a "Sound to Sight Showtime Panel" which will be installed in the facilities' Snozelen room.
"The Lyons family had actually picked out a piece of equipment to put in our Snozelen room which is a sensory room which is used and is open for the community to use so it is not just for our One Kids Place clients. It is open to Community Living, we often have guests from them and PADDLE so it has a ton of equipment in it that has sensory properties. It either excites someone or it calms them down," said Katharine Strang, Development Officer, One Kids Place Children's Treatment Centre located in North Bay.
"The new piece that they picked out is a wall unit and it lights up. It has different lights and it is much more modern looking so it is actually going to bring a lot of new interest to our room and help kids with a different piece they can play with."
Strang says they are impressed that Lyons was still able to raise $4,500 despite all the restrictions during the pandemic which caused Lyons and One Kids Place organizers to cancel the Light it Up Blue annual fundraiser at City Hall on World Autism Day.
"Mark is a wonderful community partner with One Kids Place and has been for many years," said Strang.
"It is the last couple of years where he has really come together with the Light it Up Blue event and we have worked in partnership with that. His ability to sell socks is amazing and his ability to have the community rally behind him is also amazing. It is so nice to see someone whose child has actually been part of One Kids Place understand the value of the organization and I love that he has such a great following and he is able to bring some new awareness and some new education to families with children with autism."
Strang is not sure when the new equipment will be installed in the Snozelen room as their facility continues to be closed due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
"We don't know when we will be able to open but we look forward to getting it installed so it is ready to go for when the doors open to our building," she said.