Autism Forum
April 2, 2021 7pm- 8:30pm EST

Carion Fenn Foundation presents our Virtual Autism Forum in partnership with Durham Crew. Our Forum is a great way to connect to other parents, carers and individuals with Autism. Listen to real stories (Suzi Panovska-Guarrasi, Elizabeth Wallis, Antonio (Tony) Stravato, Tara Stone & Virginia Mazzone-Ahou) ask questions and learn more about the Autism Community. Our Forum is Free and runs for 2 Hours.

Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with details for this free event and your link to join the dialogue. Please share.  

Tara Stone, Autism Advocate & Mom

​Durham Crew

​Whitby, ON CA

My name is Tara Stone and I have resided in the Durham Region for the past 30 years. I am a wife, mother, Realtor, and an autism advocate. My two children aged 15 and 9 years old, keep my husband and I busy, with special attention needing to be paid with the youngest, who is on the Autism Spectrum. Although I am involved in numerous professional organizations, my proudest community involvement has transpired over the past few years, with the Autism Community. This necessity to advocate came as my family experienced how limited, how volatile the small scope of services offered for those in the community really was. The Autism Community in Ontario has been in crisis for some time now. Access to therapy must be safeguarded once and for all, with smooth transitions into adult services. A National Autism Strategy is desperately needed to safeguard the services in Ontario and drastically expand on them, while assisting with programs and strategies to lead to meaningful employment, access to supportive housing in a timely manner and support those in the community to lead independent lives. Through understanding and a willingness to make a difference, I believe we can get there! #DurhamCrew

April 2, 2021 7pm EST

As one of the five co-founders of the Durham Crew, a wife, mother, boss who is running two small businesses and advocating on behalf of her son, Frankie, Suzi is passionate, fearless and a force to be reckoned with. Whether it is healthcare, education or anything in between Suzi is aware of what is happening to her child, good or bad. She is passionate about helping her child and all other children and adults living with autism and supporting each other. Suzi fights for services, the right for her child to receive an appropriate education and the freedom to make healthcare decisions for her family. She seeks facts, the truth and regularly challenge the status quo. Suzi’s relentless devotion to her son, Frankie and all other autism families, she is not someone to be taken lightly when it becomes to the well being of her son and tens of thousands of children and adults alike in Canada. She fights her own battles and lives her life. She protects her children and her family. Never underestimate an autism mother or father. Autism never leaves her family and she will never leave her child unprotected. Always fighting for #NeedsBasedTherapy whereas she believes that every child in Ontario should and can be funded sustainably for medically, necessary therapies on an individual need. You will have a child who grows up as an adult that has a much better quality of life and even an independent one with needs based therapy. 

Virginia Mazzone-Ahou

Autism Advocate & Mom​Durham Crew

​Ajax, ON CA

​Suzi Panovska-Guarrasi 

Autism Advocate & Mom

​Durham Crew

​Ajax, ON CA

Elizabeth Wallis

Autism Advocate & Mom 

​Durham Crew

​Whitby, ON CA

Autism Forum: 

I’m Elizabeth Wallis. I’m the mother to 2 amazing autistic kids (one also with Down syndrome), a Social Worker, and Advocate. I am the Past President of the Durham Down Syndrome Association, the Organizer of the Durham Region Special Needs Info Fair event and Facebook page, a co-founder of the Durham Crew autism parent advocates, and the Owner and Operator of My Happy Place Inc., a day program and respite centre for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I believe that disabled people deserve to be respected, valued, and included.  It is my passion to work to advocate for a better quality of life for my children and their peers.

My name is Virginia Mazzone Ahou. I am a homemaker and wife. I am a mom to a wonderful 10 year old boy on the spectrum. I am an Autism Activist and Co-founder of the Durham Crew. I dedicate my days advocating for medically necessary therapies and services for all children, youths and adults with autism and other disabilities. This ensures that they can achieve their very best. I am confident I will make a difference to my sons quality of life with my advocacy and so I will March on until this is achieved. 

Tony Stravato, aka The Beard, is the proud father of twin boys both diagnosed with Autism at the age of two. He is co-founder of the Durham Crew and since the disastrous Childhood Budget announcement in 2019, has spent his time advocating with fellow members for Needs Based Therapy. Tony has vowed not to shave until the Ontario Autism Program delivers Needs-Based Therapy. Tony’s hobbies include hockey, working on cars and protesting. For the past 15 years Tony has worked at Gerdau in Oshawa where he currently holds the position of Yard Operator. He’s a member of the Steelworkers Local 2784, and from 2008 – 2019 he was the Joint Health and Safety Co Chair. Since 2011 Tony has been elected Union Plant Chairperson. In January 2020 Tony was elected to the board of directors for the Ontario Autism Coalition. 

Tony Stravato

Autism Advocate & Dad

​Durham Crew

​Oshawa, ON CA

Together We Are Stronger®