Autism now affects one in 88 children. In Bay County, there's a family that has really put this disorder on the map.
On Wednesday, the George A. Butchikas Foundation for Autism presented a $40,000 check to FSU Panama City's Applied Behavior Analysis program. The foundation has been doing so for the last 12 years, totaling $385,000.
Autism touched the Butchikas family when their daughter Camille was born. Since they started the foundation, the Butchikas family has donated $550,000 to Bay County organizations.
"It was a dream 16 years ago to start a foundation to help children and just to bring awareness to autism and now it's a passion," George Butchikas said.
For this year, we'll be able to help 10-11 families and their child's services will be paid for the year. It's really fantastic and we're so lucky," ECAP Director, Dr. Amy Polick said.
The Butchikas family owns Angelo's Steak Pit on Panama City Beach and hosts an annual dinner to raise the funds. They say their goal is to reach the million dollar mark.