On Sunday, July 29th over 200 island residents met at the newly restored Nantucket Dreamland Theater to kick-off the August 18 Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Nantucket. Considered one of the oldest movie theaters in America, The Dreamland began its life as a Quaker Meeting House, was once a straw hat factory, part of a hotel, and finally, after being floated by barge to its present location in 1906, it became Nantucket’s first vaudeville house. Today the theater is the cultural anchor of Nantucket, and offers a variety of youth programs, including their Theater Discovery Program which is designed for students who are on the autism spectrum.
The Kick-off event was emceed by Meet the Press’ David Gregory and featured special guest Wendy Schmidt, Nantucket Dreamland Foundation Board of Directors, and Co-chaired by Susan Karger and Abby Perelman.
Hosting the reception was Autism Speaks Co-founders Suzanne and Bob Wright. During the two hour gathering, Suzanne Wright remarked “We love Nantucket – not only for all the obvious reasons – but because of how welcoming it has been to our special needs community.” Also addressing the crowd was Chief Science Officer, Dr. Geri Dawson and newly appointed President of Autism Speaks, Liz Feld.
Guests enjoyed live music and refreshments while learning about how to form a Walk Team or pledge individual support for the upcoming Walk Now for Autism Speaks Nantucket, commencing at Jetties Beach on August 18.
For information on Walk Now for Autism Speaks, Nantucket, please visit walknowforautismspeaks.org/nantucket.