North Central News

SEEDs for Autism founder gets surprise

Members of Royal Neighbors of America last month surprised Maryann LaRoche of Phoenix with a check for $2,500. She is the founder of SEEDs for Autism, a nonprofit organization that helps young adults with Autism achieve independence through artistic job skills, socialization skills, and self-confidence.

Michael Torrenti (far right), sales manager for Royal Neighbors of America, presents a check for $2,500 to Maryann LaRoche, founder of SEEDs for Autism (submitted photo).

Michael Torrenti (far right), sales manager for Royal Neighbors of America, presents a check for $2,500 to Maryann LaRoche, founder of SEEDs for Autism
(submitted photo).

The funds are from Royal Neighbors’ Nation of Neighbors Program and will help LaRoche continue to expand her vision of changing lives.

LaRoche first established SEEDs as a way to help her brother, who had Autism. Unfortunately, within a year of founding SEEDs, he passed away. However, her vision to help young adults living with this condition did not change. She carried on.

A blacksmith by trade, LaRoche has gathered volunteers in the arts, in special education, and in business to teach participants how to create beautiful, useful items which can be sold for a profit. For several individuals, this is the first real pay they have ever received. The grant from Royal Neighbors will help LaRoche purchase additional tools and supplies.

Royal Neighbors of America is one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurance companies. Focusing on its history of standing strong for women, Royal Neighbors has given nearly $1.5 million to more than 1,000 families and individuals in reaching their goals and rebuilding their lives through its Nation of Neighbors Program.

Headquartered in Rock Island, Ill., with a branch office in Mesa, Royal Neighbors serves more than 200,000 members and is licensed to do business in 42 states and the District of Columbia. To learn more, visit www.royalneighbors.org or call 800-627-4762.

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