Autism is a developmental disability leading to a lack of development in areas of the brain that serves social interaction functions, including communication skills.  Autism affects one out of every 110 births, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and, per the U.S. Department of Education, autism is growing at a rate of almost 17% a year. 

World Financial Group (WFG) SMD Joey Colasito says he wanted to give back to his community through a great cause.  And he found his inspiration after he met a client whose child had autism. Colasito organized a fund raising drive with the four WFG branch offices in the Tidewater area of Virginia, which includes Virginia Beach.  Over the course of a month, Joey and his fellow associates raised more than $3,000 dollars that was then donated to the Autism Society of Tidewater, Virginia. 

The Autism Society of Tidewater, formed in 1981, is a grassroots organization that helps improve the lives of all affected by autism by increasing autism education and advocating for the needs of autistic persons throughout their lives.  Additionally, the organization has a resource center provides an educational lending library that provides information about the latest autism research; it hosts events for both parents and children that range from workshops on raising a child with autism to art therapy for children.  Ms. Angel Barnhill, Resource Director of the Autism Society of Tidewater, noted on the donation, “We are so grateful to Joey and his group and look forward to a continued relationship.”

To learn more about the Autism Society of Tidewater, please visit their website at  For more information about World Financial Group, please visit

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