APRO’s John Cleek Jr. organizes annual autism bowling fundraiser

Bowling for AutismColumbia, Missouri’s local news abc 17 KMIZ covered APRO’s own and MRDA President John Cleek, Jr. of Cleek’s Inc., dba Aaron’s Sales & Lease Ownership annual Bowling for Autism event.

abc 17 KMIZ reported the following: 

The 14th annual Bowling for Autism event was held Saturday at Town and Country Lanes in Columbia to raise money for a local nonprofit organization that provides services for families affected by the disorder.

All proceeds from the event, which also included a silent auction, go toward Easterseals Midwest.

John Cleek Jr., an event organizer who also has a son with autism, said the annual bowling event was expected to raise about $30,000 this year. Bowling for Autism has raised $330,000 since it began in 2003.

“I’m just very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish over 14 years and hope to keep it going for many more years to come,” he said.

Easterseals Midwest also presented a $1,000 scholarship check for a participant who will be attending college in Missouri next semester.

Studies show 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States. Cleek said as the number of cases continue to grow so do the need for services.

“What they (Easterseals Midwest) do on a very limited budget is amazing,” he said. “This money just allows them to increase those services and buy additional equipment.”

April is Autism Awareness Month.

Click here to see the digital article along with a video of the event and interview with John Cleek, Jr.