International service club completes its $1M pledge ahead of 4 year timeline

February 28, 2024

For more information, contact:
Brittney Knox-Mensah

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – February 28, 2024 – Civitan International, a global service organization serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), presented their annual donation to the Civitan International Research Center (CIRC) (housed at The University of Alabama at Birmingham) totaling $373,400 on Sunday, Feb. 25.  The donation was presented alongside leadership of the Foundation for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (FCIDD) who contributed to the donation.

“We are beyond excited to present this donation to the leaders and scientists of the research center alongside our partners with the FCIDD to continue performing life-changing research for individuals with IDD,” Mark Eisinger, executive vice president of Civitan International said.

The donation was presented at this year’s annual Junior Civitan All In Summit event, which was held from Feb. 23 to Feb. 26 at the Alabama 4H Center in Columbiana and included travel to Birmingham to visit the research center. The leadership conference is for Junior Civitan members (middle and high school students), whose annual fundraising efforts contribute substantially to the CIRC donation. This year’s event had 28 Junior Civitans in attendance.

“Our leadership, scientists, and care providers at the CIRC are eternally grateful for the relationship we have with Civitan International and its partners. Their fundraising efforts and donations often serve as seed funds for our scientists to qualify for larger funding opportunities and to strive for a greater impact in their studies,” Dr. Craig Powell, director of the Civitan International Research Center said.

This donation gave Civitan International an early finish to donate $1M to the center over the course of four years allowing them to complete the pledge in only three years.

Bill Garrett, executive director of the FCIDD also attended the event and shared the foundation’s excitement about continuing to support the mission and research to support those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Prior to the check presentation, the Junior Civitans visited three learning stations at the CIRC which included a talk with researchers about autism, a hands-on interactive session to display the brain’s rapid plasticity in response to altering visual input through prism goggles, and a station where scientists displayed a human brain that had been donated for educational purposes and described the components of the brain.

Civitan International is a service organization, comprised of volunteers across the world who participate in various fundraising activities to support studies and training at the CIRC.

The CIRC was established in 1989 on the campus of UAB with the support of Civitan International, and the organization has since donated over $21M to support the center. CIRC’s mission is to improve the well-being and quality of life of individuals and families affected by IDD. The CIRC has grown to over 140 faculty members and care providers, many of whom have received national and international awards recognizing excellence in research and training.

For more information on Civitan International and the FCIDD, visit and

Click here to download the photo shown above.