Rich Center for Autism Receives $27K Donation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A donation to the Rich Center for Autism and the Youngstown State University Foundation for an operating endowment will support families of current and former center students.

Doug Krinsky, founder of Ante4autism, and Georgia Backus, former executive director of the Rich Center, presented representatives a $27,593 check for the Doug Krinsky and Georgia Backus Operating Endowment for the Rich Center for Autism.

Proceeds of the endowment, held at the YSU Foundation, will be used to support cultural and educational activities for parents and families of currently enrolled or formerly enrolled Rich Center students, as well as the installation of a parent resource room at the center.

“Doug and Georgia continue to be advocates for children on the autism spectrum,” said Mike Latessa, interim executive director. “This donation enables us to sustain our mission and provide much needed support to students and families.”

Ante4autism is an annual event held in Las Vegas with celebrities, furniture industry executives and poker players to benefit autism. The 2018 event provided the funds for the creation of the Doug Krinsky and Georgia Backus Operating Endowment for the Rich Center for Autism. 

Inspired by his son, Michael, who is on the autism spectrum, Krinsky’s advocacy began as a result of the gaps in service and the need for alternative education for children like his son.

Backus served as the director of the Rich Center for Autism from 1995-2013. She is a graduate of YSU, earning both her bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in education. Backus helped establish the Rich Center for Autism as an Ohio Department of Education Center of Excellence. She was appointed to the Ohio Task Force for Autism in 2003 by then Gov. Robert Taft.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.