Your contributions and support have helped AutismSpeaks break records for fundraising this year. Last week, at the WalkNow event, TeamGreenbean led the way toward a $1,800,000+ haul. This money will help AutismSpeaks to fund important research, provide resources to the community, and most importantly, keep autism in the conversation in Washington DC.
Our team consisted of 2000 individual donors. These generous folks managed to raise over $500,000. Approximately 250 of you walked. About 400 of you showed up at our celebration. TeamGreenbean’s numbers blow away teams around the country at the nearly 100 WalkNow events.
How do we get there? Well, 34 donors gave over $2000. 112 donors gave over $1000. Over 250 people wrote checks for more than $500. Remarkable.
Check out the final results here.
Click thru the site for more info on 2013.
When you receive an autism diagnosis for your child, you are humbled. Your confidence as a parent is shot. Your relationships with friends can be strained. Your resources are tapped.
We have been incredibly lucky to have mentors and helpers for the past 8 years. Jon Shestack was one of our first advisors. Peter Bell was there as well. Jon started Cure Autism Now, and Peter was a senior exec there -- this is the organization that grew into AutismSpeaks. Their support had less to do with Tyler’s diagnosis, and was more about being fellow parents with experience in this strange field.
We exchanged a nanny with Jon and his wife Portia. We had great dinners with other parents we met along the way. We then met the Saftler family, the Webb family, the Brancato family, the Olsen family, the Picard family, the Katz family, the Lagao family, and more.
And then, we fell into this Walk by accident. The fundraising has snowballed, and our involvement in this community has become a big part of our lives.
Our friends, clients, and family have helped build this into something more than a day to honor Tyler. He represents that person we all seem to have that is touched by this disorder – the cousin, the client, the high school pal. The disorder seems to be growing. Seems. Maybe it is that these kids are not in the closet anymore. Maybe it is that their parents are not hiding them.
Tyler is out in the community. The Walk itself is a free day for him. He runs around with thousands, he yells a bit, and he feels completely safe and at home.
He has walked about 25 miles in 8 years at the Rose Bowl. And you have supported him with 7000 donations totaling over $2,000,000. We will make sure this money is spent by AutismSpeaks in a way that reflects your spirit. We want AutismSpeaks to support kids so that they can experience some of the amazing resources Tyler has had access to during this journey.
· We want to see more places here in Los Angeles like Leaps & Boundz. Jocylynn Benjamin and her team plan to expand, and we intend to help them.
· We want to see more escapes like the Extreme Sports Camp in Aspen, Colorado. More kids need access to immersive skiing and hiking programs like Sallie Bernard and her team provide each season.
· We want more programs like the ECPHP at UCLA, and more science led by top docs like Connie Kasari and Jim McCracken. Connie is leading the charge studying non-verbal autistic children, looking for answers. Jim recently received a massive NIH partner grant that will help him study which pharmaceuticals may help these kids.
· We want more teachers like Samantha Zelevansky and her team at The Help Group.
· And someday, when school ends for Tyler, we want to see more options for housing, employment, and adult-life-skills. You will hear more about this from us as Ty and his peers get older.
· And we want more PSAs and attention. They make the community more conscious of these kids, which makes our kids safer outside the home. AutismSpeaks recent hire of Michael (brother of Rick!) Rosen should bolster that effort. Read about it here.
We pledge to keep walking for these kids.
Thanks for giving us your time, your attention, and your support.
Ari & Andrea & Avery
On behalf of little Tyler