The Rich Center for Autism Receives Donation from Doug Krinsky

YOUNGSTOWN, OH – October 15, 2021– A check presentation took place at 10:00am at The Rich Center for Autism on the campus of Youngstown State University on Friday, October 15, 2021. Doug Krinsky, Founder of Ante4autism, along with Georgia Backus, former Executive Director of The Rich Center, presented a check for $30,158 to University President Jim Tressel, Rich Center Executive Director Dr. Gregory Boerio, Co-Founder Phyllis Ricchiuti, along with Rich Center staff and parents. The funds will be added to the Doug Krinsky and Georgia Backus Operating Endowment for The Rich Center for Autism.

Proceeds of the endowment, held at the Youngstown State University Foundation, will be used to support cultural and educational activities for parents and families of currently-enrolled or formerly-enrolled Rich Center students as well as the installation of a parent resource room at The Center.





Doug Krinsky, a native of Columbus, Ohio is the founder of Ante4autism, an annual event held in Las Vegas with celebrities, furniture industry executives and poker players to benefit autism. The 2018 event provided the funds for the creation of the Doug Krinsky and Georgia Backus Operating Endowment for The Rich Center for Autism. Inspired by his son, Michael, who is on the autism spectrum, Doug wants to serve as a voice for families of autism. His advocacy began as a result in the gaps in service and the need for alternative education for children like his son. He has volunteered at the Ohio Statehouse speaking with legislators about laws and resources to help families affected by autism. His service, dedication, and advocacy for autism has garnered numerous awards. These include the 2012 Jefferson Award exemplifying the spirit of giving, the Ohio Public Images Award of Merit, and the Parent Advocate of the Year for Autism Speaks in 2016. Doug is a tireless advocate for people with autism and their families. This donation is driven by his passion to help others like his son and knowing that there is still a lot to accomplish. Doug has said his goal in life “is to have these kids and adults reach their full potential. if they can’t speak for themselves, I want to be their voice.”


Georgia Backus served as the Director of the Rich Center for Autism from 1995 through 2013. She is a proud graduate of Youngstown State University, earning both her BS and MS in Education from YSU. Georgia helped establish the Rich Center for Autism as an Ohio Department of Education Center of Excellence. She was appointed by then Governor of Ohio, Robert Taft, in 2003 to the Ohio Task Force for Autism. Georgia was honored to serve both her community and Youngstown State University stating that “My hope is that the Rich Center will always remind us how the treatment and care for those affected by autism is at the core of how we treat one another.”