Project RIDE raises nearly $1,000 to fight Autism!
At Project R.I.D.E. we are especially concerned about Autism. Many of our students have diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, a lifelong affliction that affects social interaction and learning skills for more and more children and adults each year. That’s why we put together a crack team of volunteers to represent us in our stand to find a cure for Autism at this year’s Walk Now for Autism put on by Autism Speaks, a national advocacy organization.
Did you know that the statistics now show that 1 in 100 children will be diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum? That’s 1 in 100 kids who will have difficulty relating to others, communicating, and relating to the outside world which can be overly stimulating and often frightening to them. That’s why we felt it was important to support this event to raise funds for and awareness of this important issue, which is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the US.
Our team not only raised funds and spread the word about the event, they also put together an informational, educational and most of all FUN presence at the Resource Fair, which featured 40 local vendors which offer services to people with Autism. Our volunteers created an inviting booth where children and passersby could play a fishing game, ride stuffed ponies, get a free farm animal tattoo and explore the wonders of the Mystery Box, a sensorial experience where visitors would guess by feel at the horse-related contents of a box into which no one could see. The walk route was brief and scenic along the Sacramento Riverwalk to the Money Store Ziggurat and back to Raley Field. The weather was perfect and the mood was upbeat. Local dignitaries included Mayor Kevin Johnson and Representative Doris Matsui as well as Geoffrey the Toys R’ Us Giraffe, who led the walk.
The event attracted over 7,000 people in the Sacramento area concerned about Autism. In its second year in Sacramento, this event raised over $220,000 for scientific research into the causes, prevention and ultimately a cure for this disorder.
Raising this much even in a tough economic climate where all nonprofits are struggling for funds and the enthusiasm of our volunteers made us proud to be part of the generous heart of our community.