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A 450km bike ride has raised almost $32,000 for the Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) to help support parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The ACE Gran Fondo, a four-day charity bike ride event from Noosa Heads to Byron Bay, ran from July 31-August 3 to raise awareness for autism research.

ACE Director, Professor Jacqueline Roberts, says riders’ surpassed last year’s fundraising.

“The 2014 ride saw 17 community members raise more than $30,000 for ACE,’’ she says.

“The funds raised helped fill a gap in support for families with ASD, and funded research and a series of workshops across Queensland and Tasmania.”

“At ACE, our main goal is to help children with autism succeed at school, so we offer workshops that give parents the knowledge and confidence to advocate for their children.”

Funds raised from this year’s ride will also go towards funding further research and workshops for parents.

The ACE Gran Fondo ride is co-ordinated by Glenn Williams, whose son Mitchell was diagnosed with autism at aged four.

Glenn says he decided to organise the Ace Gran Fondo ride after his wife Rayelene was inspired by an ACE seminar.

“Rayelene and I wanted to do something to help benefit other families and the money raised from the ACE Gran Fondo ride will go some way towards providing this assistance,” he says.