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New cookbook raises funds for autistic St. Lawrence County children

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MASSENA - A new cookbook titled “Food For Thought” is generating funds for programs that help St. Lawrence County children with autism.

The project was started last year by Marcia A. Curran, a Massena woman who has a 10-year-old granddaughter, Kyla M. Brady, who was diagnosed with autism around pre-school age.

Joined by some co-workers and family members, Mrs. Curran teamed up to gather recipes and print the 40-page cookbook.

“We wanted to do something creative,” said Mrs. Curran. “Instead of just giving us money, people receive a really nice cookbook and also help autism awareness.”

The 40-page cookbook cost $12 and is for sale at Season’s gift shop, 27 W. Orvis St., where Mrs. Curran is employed as store manager. It’s also sold at the GOAL studio, 95 Main St., Canton, operated by St. Lawrence NYSARC.

So far, roughly $800 has been raised from cookbook sales.

The colorful soft-cover cookbook was printed by Sullivan’s Office Supply Inc., Massena, which donated its services. It contains submitted recipes in various categories: appetizers, soups, sides and salads, bread and biscuits, slow cooker, main dishes, breakfast, desserts and helpful hints.

For the past several years, Mrs. Curran, family members and friends have joined together for the annual autism walk held in Canton. The fundraiser is sponsored by the St. Lawrence NYSARC, a not-for-profit agency that provides programs and support for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication.

The name of Mrs. Curran’s group, Kyla’s Voice, was chosen because Kyla is non-verbal.

Last year, the group raised about $3,000 for the autism walk, and their goal for this year is $5,000, Mrs. Curran said.

The popularity of the walk has steadily grown since starting six years ago, according to Michelle Quinell-Gayle, a NYSARC spokeswoman. Last year, more than 500 people attended, raising roughly $25,000.

All of the proceeds stay in St. Lawrence County to fund autism programs for children. Those include special trainings in applied behavior analysis for staff members, a lending resource library for families, school consultation services and others.

This year’s walk is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 13, starting in the Canton Village Park. Activities will include bounce houses, games for children and live radio station remote. Jeffrey Cole, a WWNY-TV morning anchor, will once again host the event.

For more information about the cookbook, Mrs. Curran can be reached at seasons@slic.com or 764-7671.

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