Autism center wins Toyota Cars contest

djournal-ToyotaBy Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Autism Center of Northeast Mississippi won a new van in online voting Tuesday in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good contest.

The Tupelo-based autism center was one of two top vote-getters among five nonprofit agencies from around the country, said John Oxford, the chairman of the center’s board.

“The community really came through for us,” Oxford said. “We hit it just right.”

The center was up against groups from Franklin, Tenn.; Denver; Fort Myers, Fla.; and Neenah, Wis. Waves Inc., a group that assists the disabled in Franklin, was the other top vote-getter.

After Toyota completes its verification process, the autism center is in line to get a new Toyota Sienna van, which will help the center’s therapists to travel to schools to train teachers and work with children who can’t get to the Tupelo center. The van will allow them to move equipment more easily.

Until Nov. 19, Toyota will give two cars away each day in online voting. Yoknapatawpha Arts Council in Oxford will be up on Nov. 15. They hope to win a vehicle to allow the center to take its arts programs out in the wider community.

People who would like to support the arts council can sign up for a reminder at

Click video to hear audio