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John Holmes

Longtime Arizona resident John Holmes first got involved with SARRC when he started attending the Grandparents Group. With two grandchildren on the autism spectrum and another with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), John was looking for special needs education and support.

“My son and daughter are both coping with special challenges as they raise their children,” he explained. “As a parent, I wanted to learn all I could about autism so I could understand what my son was going through as he raised his sons. I wanted to be able to ask relevant questions about his progress and, most importantly, I wanted to be prepared to be able to relate to my grandsons when I visit them each year in Chicago and Michigan.”

When planning his estate, he had two goals in mind: to leave additional support for his grandsons and to impact the future of autism.

“Making sure funds are available for [autism] research to learn more and for ongoing development of educational programs and services is my priority,” he said.

Therefore, joining SARRC’s Legacy Circle was a perfect fit.

Originally from Michigan, John initially worked in the home health care field—an occupation that brought him to Phoenix more than 20 years ago. After settling in the Valley, he went back to school and earned a degree in Hydrologic Studies.

Today, John and his wife of 20 years, Mila, enjoy retirement; he retired as a hydrologist from the Flood Control District of Maricopa County and she from Estrella Mountain Community College in 2013. In addition to staying fit and active, John volunteers through SARRC’s Grandparents Group and through Duet-Partners in Health & Aging, a nonprofit that serves older adults in greater Phoenix.

Through the Legacy Circle, John hopes to make an impact for his grandchildren and others for years to come.

“I want to contribute what I can to impact autism in my community and beyond, to reach a day when individuals with autism function without stigma as full contributing members of our community,” he said.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Legacy Circle member and ensuring the continued vitality and growth of SARRC’s services from one generation to the next, please contact Beth Salazar at [email protected] or 602-340-8717, ext. 1039.