May 18, 2019 was a picture perfect day for NSSA’s 13th Annual 5K Run Walk for Autism Awareness. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and a light breeze kept everyone cool while running.
This was a special year as the run was moved to beautiful Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. This is a more central location for many people as well as a scenic spot with generous shade trees and grassy picnic areas for relaxing after the run. We hope this made for a great experience for our runners and their friends and families.
The day began with a generous breakfast spread of bagels, bananas, oranges and Entenmann’s and home baked goods by our own Connie Grassle. Gatorade, orange juice and water was available to quench our guests’ thirsts. Thank you to all our Breakfast Sponsors for keeping our runners fed and refreshed!
Volunteers from Global Facility Management & Construction, Inc. and both Lynbrook and Half Hollow Hills High Schools were on hand bright and early, balloon filling, course marking, table cleaning, muffin cutting, tee shirt dispensing – all the things that need to happen before a successful run. NSSA families and staff were also on hand to help out where needed. We couldn’t do it without their tireless help.
The race went off right on time at 8:30am and runners sped around a 3.1 mile course.
And as always, we welcome walkers too!
We were excited to see so many NSSA students and adult program participants joining in the race after training with the NSSA Run Club this year.
Post-run, Mike Miranda announced the overall and category winners.
Congratulations to James Gallagher for being the overall race winner and Top Overall Male with a time of 19:18 and to Courtney Koleda for coming in as Top Overall Female with a time of 22:50.
You’re ALL winners in our book!
Thanks to the Slone and Miranda families for all their support of Jack’s Run and NSSA.
We couldn’t put on an event like this without the help of our sponsors, volunteers, donors, families and runners. Your generosity means so much to so many.
You can see all the finishers below!
On January 11th, the Smithtown High School East Leadership Club hosted an evening of dancing, food and fun at their Red Carpet themed winter dance for NSSA adult participants, consultation students and Barell students over the age of 14. This is a unique opportunity for our students to participate in a typical school dance experience. They are able to interact with and learn from the students of Smithtown as well as have fun and create friendships.
Attendees arrived by walking up a red carpet and into a gym filled with high school students dressed up and ready to dance with them.
Many thanks to Stacey Agosta for helping to coordinate the event, NSSA teachers and direct support professionals for accompanying their students and adult participants and Smithtown High School East for their graciousness and hospitality in hosting for us once again.
Carley Schor (read more about Carley here) came to NSSA to visit her friend T, a Barell student, and donate more iPads to the school, purchased with money from sales of her handpainted sneakers at Carley’s Kicks for Cure. Carley has just graduated from high school and is preparing to leave for her first year of college at The George Washington University in Washington, DC this fall.
Carley donated three more iPads to NSSA, bringing the total to over 17 iPads for students and a large screen tv for the school!
Students from the youngest classroom help open all the packages.
In appreciation of all Carley has done for NSSA over the years we presented her with an engraved plaque and a going-away gift for college.
J. uses his iPad to say “thank you” to Carley.
At college, Carley will be in the Human Services & Social Justice Program, preparing to serve people and communities in need. We’re sure Carley will be a success at whatever she does and make a great difference in the world. She has certainly made a generous impact on NSSA!
Thank you for your caring, donations and friendship, Carley!
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 was a perfect day for Commack High School’s 5th Annual Student/Teacher Doubles Tournament fundraiser “Tennis for Autism” to raise awareness of autism and NSSA.
Proceeds from the fundraiser were generously donated to NSSA.
Shane Helfner, President of the Suffolk County Tennis Coach’s Association, spearheads this event each year – we’re so fortunate to have such good friends and supporters in the community.
Family and friends, staff and students came out to support the event and players. There was such a genuine feeling of camaraderie among the tennis team and faculty players.
Raffle prizes were announced near the end of the event and there were many happy winners.
Everyone who participated received a medal and the top four places in the tournament received trophies. But everyone involved in the event – from students and faculty, to Shane and parents – are winners as far as we’re concerned.
Thank you Commack HS Boys Varsity Tennis Team, Commack High School faculty, and Shane Helfner for helping to raise awareness of autism and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism.
In 2007, the United Nations declared April 2 World Autism Awareness Day, to encourage people and organizations to promote awareness of autism as a growing health issue by “Lighting It Up Blue.” Many well-known landmarks around the world went blue on April 2 in support of the cause.
Another purpose of World Autism Awareness Day is to stress the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have named autism the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. Just last week, the CDC reported that the number of autism cases is growing. It reported 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum, an increase from 1 in 88 children it had previously reported.
Here at NSSA, teachers, staff, students and clients did their part by dressing in blue for the day and for our annual “Light it Up Blue” group photo.
How did *you* Light it Up Blue for Autism Awareness Day?