Scott Center for Autism Treatment Honors Grandparents Who Make a Difference

John and Susan Hopkins Chair
Center’s Evening of Hope Fundraiser     

MELBOURNE, FLA. — John and Susan Hopkins understand the important role grandparents can play when a child has autism, which is why they are thrilled to be honorary co-chairs for the Scott Center for Autism Treatment’s An Evening of Hope IX fundraiser on April 8.

The Hopkins’ granddaughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with autism 12 years ago. They have been a constant source of support for Elizabeth, her parents and her older sister from the beginning, going to doctor’s appointments, helping with schoolwork, taking the girls on trips and being there whenever they were needed.

Today, Elizabeth is a 7th-grade honor roll student at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Melbourne.

“We are so proud of her,” John Hopkins said. “But with her autism, Elizabeth is not your average 14-year-old. We are so thankful to the Scott Center and everyone who supports it for helping her learn so much and do so well.”

The Hopkinses consider Ali Wiegand, a Scott Center behavior analyst who has been providing additional private services to Elizabeth for years, part of the family.

“Ali takes Elizabeth out to eat to work on table manners, and they go shopping to practice interacting with store employees. They go to Crossfit together,” Susan Hopkins said. “Ali has helped Elizabeth so much.”

Compassionate, hands-on experiences like these guided by the latest educational advances highlight how the Scott Center can make a difference in the lives of autistic children, and they are why John and Susan Hopkins are involved with An Evening of Hope, the annual gala that helps support Florida Tech’s Scott Center and raises critical scholarship and subsidy funds.

“We are concerned for other families who cannot afford therapists to help,” Susan Hopkins said.

“I hope people will support Evening of Hope,” John Hopkins added. “It is very important we support these children. We would like to see some grandparents there. They do play a very important role.”

An Evening of Hope IX  will be held from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, April 8 at the Eau Gallie Yacht Club in Indian Harbour Beach. Sponsorships are available and range from the $500 Faith level to the $15,000 Hope level. All levels include tickets to the event.

Fundraising efforts also include a raffle of an $8,450 Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-MASTER II donated by Kempf’s Jewelers. Raffle tickets are available for a suggested donation of $25 each at the Scott Center on the Florida Tech campus in Melbourne, Kempf’s Jewelers at 336 Fifth Ave. in Indialantic or online at

For more information, please contact Courtenay Porter at 321-674-8106 or

** Interviews with John and Susan Hopkins available upon request. **


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