Resident recognized for autism awareness efforts

City of Vaughan

​Ward 2 Civic Hero Award presented to Raffaela Bozzato

Six years ago, Raffaela Bozzato began a fundraising effort to support local families with children with autism. As an active user of the Al Palladini Fitness Centre she developed the idea of holding an annual spin-a-thon to raise funds that would help these families.
Six years later the Spinning for Autism Fundraiser has raised more than $250,000 and has helped many families in the community. Funds raised through the spin-a-thon go to benefit the Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism, a charitable organization that was first established in Woodbridge. The centre provides an intensive and comprehensive educational program for children with autism. In recognition of her efforts, the Civic Hero Award for Ward 2 was presented to Bozzato by Vaughan Council last evening.

“Raffaela Bozzato is an inspirational example of how one individual can engage and inspire so many people to give of themselves by becoming a champion for a truly worthy cause. Motivated by a family friend whose life was touched by autism, she uses an innovative approach to raise funds and awareness for Shining Through by encouraging members of her local gym and the greater community to participate in her annual fundraiser called ‘Spinning for Autism’. I am proud of Raffaela for taking extraordinary steps to give back to families with autistic children and I congratulate her for her for being recognized as this year’s Ward 2 Civic Hero.”  
-Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua
“Our community is a better place thanks to people like Raffaela Bozzato. Through her volunteerism and annual event, she has made an incredible contribution with her community service. She is an outstanding example of what a civic hero is and I thank her for her efforts to improve the lives of so many families in our community.”
-Ward 2 Councillor Tony Carella


  • The Civic Hero Award is presented annually to residents from each of Vaughan’s five wards
  • The awards recognize outstanding achievement and individual contributions to the community