April 2 was World Autism Day and this year, participants from AO York’s Leadership, Education and Development program (LEADers) and their mentors celebrated at Boston Pizza Aurora, serving food and spreading awareness.

Boston Pizza Aurora has given many local groups, schools and charities the opportunity to raise funds through their ‘celebrity server’ nights. Our LEADers and their mentors had a great time, as they assisted the fantastic servers, getting food for a full house at Boston Pizza and getting some experience in a working environment. On top of that, they raised a total of $725.68 for our chapter!

The group worked in two shifts of one hour each, and we had a wonderful group of VERY patient Boston Pizza servers to work with. Participants got some practice taking down orders, delivering them to the kitchen and taking orders out to tables. This is such valuable experience for our young people – it meant so much! Then Brittney Anderson of Boston Pizza gave us even more wonderful news: the Aurora store had raised $750.00 from the sale of heart-shaped pizzas on Valentine’s Day, and they’d decided to donate it to us.

Part of the LEADers program’s intention is to seek out opportunities for work experience for our participants. Because this is a once-weekly program, it has been challenging to find these opportunities. That makes our Boston Pizza experience all the more meaningful. We’re hoping to have another chance this October – so hopefully we’ll see you there!