Melmark: Life Science Leaders Raise Funds for Individuals with Autism and Disabilities | Circa November 5, 2021 #BanABA #NotAnAutisticAlly

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

Life Science Leaders Raise Funds for Individuals with Autism and Disabilities

BERWYN, Pa., Nov. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ –Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, when other fundraising events were significantly downsized or eliminated, the volunteers behind an annual golf tournament benefiting Melmark have remained dedicated in their mission to raise funds for the not-for-profit organization’s programs. The Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Classic Advisory Board raised $314,600 at its 16th annual golf fundraiser, weaving social distancing measures and virus mitigation best practices into all aspects of the event. The event took place on Monday, October 11, 2021 in two locations- The Philadelphia Country Club and Gulph Mills Golf Club.

Rita M. Gardner, President and CEO of Melmark, Denny Willson, Schoemaker Classic Advisory Board member and Melmark Board Member, and Anne Schoemaker.
Rita M. Gardner, President and CEO of Melmark, Denny Willson, Schoemaker Classic Advisory Board member and Melmark Board Member, and Anne Schoemaker.

Members of the Schoemaker Classic Advisory Board are steadfast supporters of Melmark, a not-for-profit organization serving children and adults diagnosed with autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Melmark’s Pennsylvaniaservice division, located in Berwyn, has taken a significant unexpected financial costs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With other service divisions in Andover, Massachusetts and Charlotte, North Carolina, the organization has incurred more than $5 million in unplanned expenses and income losses since mid-March 2020. The losses and extra expenses are due to day program closures, the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), hero pay for those employees working with a positive case of the virus, increased sanitizing measures, the purchase of technological equipment for remote learning, and reconfiguring program work spaces to ensure optimal virus mitigation.

Melmark President and CEO, Rita M. Gardner, M.P.H., LABA, BCBA says the Schoemaker Classic Advisory Board’s unwavering support could not come at a better time. “This has been a challenging time for all not-for-profit human service organizations especially those providing care in-person, and on the front line of special education and congregate care services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gardner. “The pandemic has created new obstacles in an already underfunded field, and the support of our donor community is needed now more than ever,” she added. “This incredible group of leaders in the life sciences industry have their own COVID-19-related battles to fight, yet they are stepping up again for the 16th anniversary of this event, and I am in awe of what they are able to accomplish year after year. We are beyond grateful for their ongoing support. Every year, the Classic Advisory Committee carries on Hubert Schoemaker’s rich legacy of improving so many lives ” 

Schoemaker Classic Advisory Board Co-Chair, Rich Decker, speaks of the importance of this event. “It is integral that we continue Hubert Schoemaker’s work to help ensure ongoing strength and vitality for Melmark’s services.” Decker is partner of Simkiss and Block. He explains why he and his peers on the advisory board remain steadfast in their dedication to this event. “The programs at Melmark depend a great deal on fundraised dollars, and I cannot think of a better way for the life sciences industry to pull together during this unique time in all of our lives. Hubert Schoemakerimproved millions of lives. Not just through his work and contributions to the biotechnology industry, but as a philanthropist. We are grateful for the opportunity to support such a meaningful mission.”

About The Schoemaker Classic 
The Schoemaker Classic was founded in 2006 by Lee Ahrensdorf, President of Ahrensdorf and Associates, in memory of the late Hubert J.P. Schoemaker. Schoemaker was a leader and advocate in the region’s life sciences community and founder of Centocor. Schoemaker, whose eldest daughter lived at Melmark for 28 years, was well known for giving back to the community, especially to children and adults with special needs. 

In addition to Decker, the advisory board is led by co-chairs Brad Michel, Managing Director at Accenture, and Shawn O’Brien, Chairman at Key BIOPHARMA Partners. For a complete list of advisory board members, visit

About Melmark 
Melmark is a multi-state human service provider with premier special education schools, professional development, training, and research centers. Programs and services include a children’s day school, after-school and residential programs, adult day and adult residential programs. Other services include public school consultation and family outreach services, a formal professional development program including onsite graduate education, an Expert Speakers Series and the creation and design of EnvisionSMART™, which includes a series of professional practitioner manuals and proprietary software programs designed to replicate the Melmark Model of Program Development for public schools and other service providers. Melmark is Mission FirstEvery Individual, Every Day. 

SOURCE Melmark


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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