PALS Autism Society Newsletter  |  Winter 2016
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9th Annual Imagine… Gala
-By Andrea Kasunic
When people and organizations give their money, time, and energy to PALS Autism Society, good things happen in the world because our students are given the opportunity to learn to give back as they become more independent members of their communities –that’s karma! Bring your good vibes and help us raise funds at our 9th Annual Imagine...Gala on Saturday April 9th. With over 300 guests expected to be in attendance, the energy in the Vancouver Convention Centre will be a positive one for sure!  Hosts Nat and Drew of 103.5 QMFM will help set a chilled atmosphere for guests to sip cocktails, nibble on appetizers, and bid on luxurious silent auction items. And, guests won’t want to miss entering the West Jet raffle for a chance to fulfill their wanderlust! Following dinner, Vancouver’s busiest Man about Town, Fred Lee, will raise both spirits and bid paddles high as he runs an illustrious live auction. The music of Famous Players band will keep the energetic atmosphere going all night long in the Summit Ballroom –be sure to do your stretches and put on your dancing shoes!

This year, we look forward to honoring Els for Autism Canada, an organization that has been demonstrating extreme generosity to PALS since 2012.

Invitations will be mailed out shortly; however, you can also phone the school or visit our website to purchase your tickets or to make a donation Please kindly send your RSVP early as the event sells out each year! New this year, meal selections must be made for all guests before tickets will be able to be purchased. For more information on attending the gala, sponsorship, or donating silent and live auction items, please email
PALS Students Learn Science
-By Rebecca Tayler
Science experiments have taken over the Level 1 and 2 classroom this semester and students are exploring concepts such as: same and different; mixing primary colours to make new ones; and ‘free play’ science where students get to be creative exploring what happens when various materials are mixed together. The ultimate goal is for our students to learn that experiments give experience, which just so happens to be the name of our science class song! What will blue and yellow make? How can we make it slimy, sparkly, bubbly, explosive, fun? We’re putting on our protective goggles and finding out!
Twists on Holiday Classics at PALS Variety Show
-By Andrea Kasunic
Students at PALS School Program proudly displayed their talents before family and friends as they took to the ‘stage’ on the last day of school. Songs were selected to highlight the unique abilities of all the classrooms –a favourite being “Dashing Through The Halls” which they sang to the tune of “Jingle Bells”. Teachers helped the students put another PALS-twist on the classic “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer”, turning it into “Apple the Friendly iPad”, because who doesn’t love the iPad at PALS!? Some students held up pictures on cue, others filled-in blanks with the words they rehearsed, and one brave student took to the stage alone to wish everyone a happy holiday. Thank you to all who attended –if you haven’t made it out to one of students’ shows yet, stay tuned for what’s in store for the Summer Performance!
Join PALS at the Vancouver Sun Run!
-By Andrea Kasunic
After 5 years, its officially a tradition – PALS will again be entering a team for the Vancouver Sun Run made up of students, staff, and friends! The race takes place this year on Sunday, April 17th and you’re invited to join us and tens of thousands of others by running, jogging, walking, or riding in your wheelchair in Canada’s largest 10km road race. For more information about joining the PALS team, please contact with the subject line "Vancouver Sun Run". For race details and registration visit
Running Tip:
Find a committed running partner! It is much harder to skip a run when you have someone else depending on you. If you don't have someone you can run with, tell someone your plans for running to take ownership for your plans.                             
Adult Program Update
-By Karin Terado
 The adult program is back in full swing after the Christmas holidays and there are many things I would like to report on!  Suffice it to say that new programs are in the works, several interesting initiatives are underway and planning for the Spring/Summer term has begun.   More about these at a later date!  However, before I tell you about a couple of amazing projects that took place before the holidays, I would like to introduce you to our newest student, Sangeon Yoo, who entered the program on December 1st!  It’s always a privilege to welcome a new student and his or her family to PALS and I know that Sangeon will be a wonderful addition to the program!  At this time I’m also very happy to welcome Katie Smith and Boris Wu to PALS full time staff!   They both bring a lot of experience and strong skills to the program and I look forward to working with them in the months to come. 
As I already mentioned, although there are many exciting things to share with you, I would like to highlight two very special initiatives that took place in December.  First, Bethany C, one of our students, took on the responsibility of organizing the adult program’s 1st Annual Christmas Toy Drive in support of the Salvation Army.    Beth and Nikki, one of the staff, set an ambitious goal to donate 100 new toys but exceeded this target by collecting 134!  It was wonderful to watch the pile of toys growing and to see the excitement building as Beth and her friends got closer to their goal.  Given the great reception, I hope that Beth and her team will find the energy and commitment to do it all again next year! 
Another fantastic initiative was our Christmas Bake Sale, the proceeds of which entirely funded  an activity near and dear to all of us - lunch at White Spot,  with enough left over to provide seed money for another bake sale!  I would like to thank Karl J. for choosing the Christmas wish and most especially staff members Afton and Katie, who managed the entire operation from budgeting, advertising and collecting orders, to shopping, to overseeing the baking of more than 1400 cookies and packaging dozens of cones of hot chocolate and marshmallows, to labelling and tastefully packaging 85 cookie tins (when we were hoping to sell 50!), to on-time delivery and follow-up.  I think they would agree that this was truly a whole team effort in which all of the students and staff contributed and, although it was a very hectic time, goodwill, laughter and teamwork were evident on a daily basis!  
In closing I’d like to thank our families and the larger community in helping make both activities such great successes – we couldn’t have done it without you!  What a great way to end the year!
Adult Program Staff Bio's
Hi, I’m Katie.

I’ve been a PALS staff member since June and I’m also the resident yoga teacher. I have worked as a freelance yoga instructor since 2006 and have a fine arts degree from Emily Carr. 

I believe in creating a positive, consistent learning environment for everyone at our program and I really respect how our staff work together to facilitate our clients’ goals.

In my free time I enjoy painting and shopping at thrift stores in small towns.
PALS would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people and organizations who generously donated to the school and adult program in October, November & December;  Stephanie Agg, Kaz and Marion Arai, Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans Unit 100, Mrs. Ayoub, Afagh Balazadeh, The Morris and Helen Belkin Foundation, CKNW Orphans' Fund, The Mary and Gordon Christopher Foundation, CORIX - Golf for Kids, Helen Czinkota, Karol Dubitz, Els For Autism - Canada, Maryam Esfahani , Gordon and Sharon Grams, The Hamber Foundation, Maryam Hashemi, Sahar Kanani, Raymond Lee, Aida Leung, Kurt and Vivian Louie, Philip Louis and Julie Fu, Methanex, Koorosh Raffii, Ashraf Shahvali, Barbara Shishido, Arlene Smith, TELUS - Team TELUS Dollars for Doers, The Sutton Place Hotel - Vancouver, David and Stephanie Williams, Jimmy and Alice Wong, Susie Wong, Missy Yano.  This support allows us to continue delivering exceptional academic, behavioural, and life skills programming to students and young adults with autism spectrum disorders.
School Program
BC Family Day - School Closed
Monday, February 8th

Behaviour Analysis Workshop
-no afterschool care
Thursday, February 25th

Spring Break - School Closed
March 14th  - 18th

Good Friday - School Closed
Friday, March 25th

Easter Monday - School Closed
Monday, March 28th
Adult Program
BC Family Day - Program Closed
Monday, February 8th

Good Friday - Program Closed
Friday, March 25th

Easter Monday - Program Closed
Monday, March 28th

Copyright © 2016 PALS Autism Society, All rights reserved.

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