Autism Training Center to host online fundraising gala Dec. 5

From 7  to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University will host an online gala event that is designed to inform and entertain participants about the good work of the center, while also raising funds to support their mission.

Created in the 1980s, the center provides support to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as they pursue a life of quality. Funds raised from this virtual event will go towards the College Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum at Marshall University, which seeks to help students with ASD learn skills that will help them earn a college degree and live a productive and independent life.

“Our goal with this gala is to produce a safe, quality 90-minute virtual event that informs, entertains and educates people of all ages, in all locations, about autism, and the work that the WV Autism Training Center and the College Program at Marshall do to benefit students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),” said Dr. Marc Ellison, executive director of the center. “By telling our story through this online event, we hope that participants will better understand the work we do and consider supporting these efforts through purchases before, during and after the virtual event, which includes an online auction. All of the proceeds from these fundraising efforts go towards the expansion of the programs that support students with ASD.”

The gala is titled Stories From The Spectrum and will spotlight many inspiring stories from students with ASD, unique auction items for bidding, and will include a special guest appearance by Temple Grandin, an outspoken proponent of autism rights and neurodiversity movements.

“The WV Autism Training Center and the College Program are two of the most nationally prominent programs at Marshall University, and I am personally proud of the good work they do for our ASD students and the autism community,” said Dr. Jerome Gilbert, president of Marshall University. “I wish them well for a successful gala on Dec. 5 and look forward to working with them as a critical component in how we serve our ASD students and broaden the understanding of autism and other aspects of neurodiversity.”

To register for the event, visit A variety of auction items are being rolled out regularly in the weeks leading up to the event and are open for bidding at

For more information about the center, visit