Pacific Autism Family Foundation’s Board Chair and Co-Founder Sergio Cocchia displays a $100,000 presentation cheque from BMO Financial Group’s Henry Donkers, Steve Saccomano Derral Moriyama.

“BMO Financial Group strongly believes in making joint commitments with organizations to create successful community opportunities for individuals with autism. The $100,000 is a commitment toward the forward thinking Centre – the first of its kind in Canada to bring together state of the art research, information, learning, assessment, treatment and support for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disorders” says Henry Donkers, Regional Vice President, Vancouver Westside and Richmond Market, BMO Bank of Montreal.

“We are thrilled that after six years of planning and collaboration, construction on the facility will begin this month. This would not be possible without the support of our many community partners and of course our donors. We are extremely grateful for the leadership shown by BMO and their commitment to the autism community” said Sergio Cocchia. The Hub is slated for completion Spring 2016.

Also on hand to celebrate were BMO employee Steve Saccomano. The Saccomano’s are parents of a child on the spectrum. “Our family, like many families dealing with the challenges and struggles of raising a child with autism, are very thankful to see this collaboration between BMO and the PAFC. It creates a great sense of hope.” says Steve.

About Pacific Autism Family Foundation

With Pacific Autism Family Foundation, we are creating a hub and spoke network where children and families facing the challenges of autism can access information, treatment, research and support. GoodLife Fitness recently committed $5 million and is the naming donor of the hub. The GoodLife Fitness Autism Family Hub and Pacific Autism Family Foundation will serve Autism and related disorders, including developmental disabilities, and learning challenges. It will also provide lifespan support; Autism affects 1 in 68 children, and 1 in 42 boys. With 69,000 people on Autism spectrum living in BC, and 80 children diagnosed every month in the province, this is a much-needed initiative for BC families. The project will focus on serving families across BC with a navigator program and collaboration with other organizations

About BMO Financial Group in BC

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly-diversified North American financial services organization. BMO is one of Canada’s largest corporate benefactors; supporting causes that help build and sustain resilient, vital and healthy communities. BMO has been serving customers in British Columbia since 1887 when the first Bank of Montreal branch in the province opened in Vancouver. The 3,000 BMO Financial Group employees in B.C. are dedicated to making BMO the bank that defines great customer experience, serving customers through 123 branches. We’re people first, bankers second and above all, we’re here to help.