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Leah Moon

Bloomfield, Connecticut

Gayle Hays

When Leah’s daughter, Jackie, moved to Connecticut from Boston, she realized that Connecticut did not offer the same level of recreational programs for children with autism that her 6-year-old grandson had access to in Boston. This led Leah and Jackie to co-found Autism Families CONNECTicut (AFC), a nonprofit organization to provide fun, safe, and beneficial activities for children with autism, in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment. Their mantra was, “come as you are!”  AFC’s programs grew steadily over the years, and now serves hundreds of autistic children per year through Teen Night Socials, Young Adult Hangout, Leisure Explorers, and Playing on the Spectrum, AFC’s signature gym program.  A notable achievement, after the age of sixty-five, was her role in forming a partnership between AFC and the Prism Autism Center, merging the organization’s physical spaces together. The partnership significantly improved the experiences of families impacted by autism and streamlined the services of the two agencies, anchoring families with one “home base.” Leah has prioritized volunteerism and charitable work her whole life, and in 2017 Duncaster Senior Living recognized Leah’s philanthropy and volunteerism, bestowing a “60 Over 60” award on her in 2017. The mission of the awards was to let people know that “people over 60 are still making things happen” and highlight individuals over sixty who continue to have an impact on their communities or the lives of others.