AT&T presents check to Ozark Center for Autism

Friday, March 05, 2010 - AT&T presents check to Ozark Center for Autism

Joplin, Mo.—On Friday, March 5, 2010, AT&T presented a check for $37,500 to Ozark Center for Autism. AT&T Missouri President David Nichols, Missouri Speaker of the House Ron Richard, his wife Patty Richard, and other local dignitaries attended the special presentation in the school lobby. The gift benefits the Ozark Center for Autism Scholarship Fund to help increase enrollment and provide assistance to families needing financial help to send their children to the school.

“We are honored to help this great organization,” said Nichols.  “I would also like to commend state Rep. Richard other legislators in this area for enacting progressive public policies that encourage companies to support community programs such as this one.”

“Through its dedication and progressive tools, the Ozark Center for Autism has become a prime model for many other autism programs being developed statewide.  Autism is very close to my heart, and something we are working to improve through legislation when the session begins in early 2010,” said Richard. “AT&T has taken a vital role in the fight against autism, and I would like to thank them for their philanthropic support and generous donation to the Center in Joplin.”

“This generous gift will help us continue our mission of helping children with autism develop the skills essential to a life with dignity and purpose,” said Ozark Center CEO Paula Baker. “On behalf of our children, their families, and Ozark Center for Autism, thank you for your tremendous support.”

In appreciation of this gift, an observation room at Ozark Center for Autism will be renamed in honor of AT&T.

Autism is the fastest growing childhood developmental disability and affects a child’s ability to communicate with loved ones and interact with the world. Ozark Center for Autism provides the only evidence-based treatment proven to be effective—Applied Behavior Analysis. In this intensive one-on-one therapy, teachers prepare preschoolers to function as independently as possible. Ozark Center for Autism also offers new in-home services and plans to expand services, reaching out to older children and adults.

About Ozark Center
An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Missouri, Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults, and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the mental health needs of the community and promote awareness of mental illness in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit ozarkcenter.com or call 417.347.7600.

About Philanthropy at AT&T
For 25 years, AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have been committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. As the AT&T Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009, more than $160 million was contributed through corporate-, employee- and AT&T Foundation-giving programs in 2008 alone.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation's leading high speed internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2009, AT&T again ranked number one in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at att.com.

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