AUGUSTA — Heidi E. Bowden, executive director of the Maine Autism Alliance, recently received the Margaret L. Bauman, M.D. Award for Excellence in Serving the Autism Community at the 16th Current Trends in Autism Conference held in Burlington, Mass.

The award recognizes Bowden’s work in establishing the Maine Autism Alliance and organizing core programs that help people with autism and their families.

The organization is currently preparing to open Maine’s first autism community center, which will be located in the Portland area. The center will offer support groups, social clubs and family events and trainings. A fundraiser is set for Jan. 19 at Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland.

The award is named for Margaret Bauman, an associate professor of neurology at Harvard University and founding director of the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.

For more information, visit www.maineautism.org.