Autism Speaks volunteer Karen Barbarics was honored by Gap, Inc. with the Fisher Award for Community Service. The Fisher Award, named for Gap, Inc. Founders Don and Doris Fisher, is awarded once a year to employees who demonstrate the Fishers’ passion, inspiration and dedication to community support, innovation and integrity. Karen, who is general manager of the Gap store at Palmer Park Mall in Easton, Penn., was surprised by a visit from Gap executives from all over the U.S., including Steve Stickel, Sr. Vice President, Stores and Store Operations-Gap North America, Jim Lain, Vice President - Gap Specialty Stores, Deborah Kane, District Manager, and Helen Murphy, Regional Director. Karen was presented with a $10,000 award from Gap Foundation. Autism Speaks National Walk Director Paul Irwin-Dudek and Lehigh Valley Walk/Events Director Jennifer Smith were honored to join Karen to accept a $10,000 additional award to Autism Speaks.
Karen and her husband Bill, who have two sons on the autism spectrum, are the founding Walk Chairs of the Autism Speaks Lehigh Valley Walk Now for Autism Speaks in Allentown, Penn. The Lehigh Valley Walk, now in its seventh year, brings more than 10,000 walkers together each April and raises over $500,000 annually. Volunteers from Gap, Inc. have been instrumental to the Walk’s success since the very first year. The Gap, Inc. Mid-Atlantic and New York Regions are preparing for their second "Closing the Gap on Autism" in-store campaign September 28-30, 2012. More than 200 Gap stores will turn their stores blue for Autism Speaks for the weekend, selling paper puzzle pieces at the registers and raising awareness for autism spectrum disorders. Last year’s inaugural campaign raised over $200,000 for Autism Speaks!
Please join Autism Speaks in congratulating Karen Barbarics on this well-deserved award. Autism Speaks also thanks Gap, Inc. for their outstanding commitment to volunteerism and community service.