History and Community Involvement

Shine A Light On Autism officially incorporated as a 501(c)3 charitable organization in 2011, but we have been active in the Hannibal area since 2006. Before Shine A Light On Autism formed and the Lighthouse Challenge became our signature event, there was a small group that held 3 golf tournaments to help the Hannibal School District start their first early intensive behavorial intervention (EIBI) classroom to serve kids with autism and other disorders. This was the first classroom of its kind in the area and its teachers work with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Univ. of Missouri) to develop curriculum for the class. Other community activities include:

  • $300 donation to the Hannibal High School sensory room
  • $500 to the Hannibal High School Sparkle Cheer Squad for uniforms
  • Purchase of 30 iPads for special needs kids in 7 different schools in Ralls, Marion, Shelby and Pike County. These iPads are used as a tool to educate kids in the classroom
  • $2,250 to Monroe City Sensory Calming Room
  • $10,000 to assist the construction of 3 special needs playgrounds, one at YMCA of Hannibal, one at Early Childhood Center (Hannibal Public Schools) and sensory room at Admiral Coontz Armory (Hannibal Parks and Rec)
  • Partnering with Achieve Karate to hold special needs karate classes
  • 5 iPads were donated to Special Needs classes at Ralls County School
  • Sensory Sensitive Santa at local schools at Christmas. Most special needs kids especially with sensory issues do not get the opportunity to be one on one with Santa.
  • Purchase of various therapy equipment and supplies to be used in special needs classrooms at schools in Marion, Ralls, Pike, Shelby and Monroe County
  • Assisting special needs families when there is a medical emergency
  • Spreading awareness about autism by speaking at local civic groups, hospitals, etc. For example, spoke and met with Hannibal Regional Medical Group about how to make hospital setting more comfortable with kids with autism.
  • Participating in and sponsoring charity events, such as Polar Plunge, Dreamcatchers, Kids in Motion, YMCA events, etc.
  • Aquatherapy for special needs kids in Hannibal area at the YMCA of Hannibal

We are very proud of what we have done but could not do any of this without the generous community support we have received. We feel we have had a real impact in the NE Missouri area and continue to try and improve the lives of children and families living with autism and other disorders.

Marlene Rodenbaugh
Founder, Shine A Light On Autism