More than 3000 students, family members, staff and community supporters converged at Summit on Saturday, April 28, for the 13th Annual Walk for Autism Awareness, raising a record-breaking $285,000 - $35,000 above the $250,000 goal -- in support of Summit’s programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Duane Paddock, President and Chief Executive Officer of Paddock Chevrolet, and Jeffrey Zimmer, President of Reeds Jewelers/Jenss Décor served as honorary chairs of the event which was the most successful fundraiser in Summit’s history. Their businesses, along with Allstate, served as presenting sponsors of the event. Additional major sponsors included Seevast, M&T Bank, Tops Friendly Markets and Independent Health. Entertainment was provided by Sub Zero Allstars, a special needs cheerleading troupe; local soloist Melissa Marino, and the Paul Briandi Band.
“We are extremely grateful to our families, sponsors and the entire Western New York community for their tremendous show of support for the children we serve at Summit,” said Stephen R. Anderson, Ph.D., Chief Executive of Summit. “With autism now affecting 1 in every 88 children, the need for the programs and services we provide continues to increase. Proceeds from our Walk will help bridge the gap between increasing costs and stagnant or decreasing government funding and allow us to continue to provide high quality evidence-based programs and services.”