Over 300 people attended "Go Long For Luke," a flag football fundraiser in East Hills, N.Y., on September 29th. The day raised over $5,000 for Autism Speaks and was such a success that its organizers plan to make it an annual event.
The inspiration behind the fundraiser came from local youth Cole Faller and his best friend Luke Greenfield, who is on the autism spectrum. Cole rallied the local community to attend the event by sending out a heartfelt message.
“Luke has autism. It’s okay…Autism is just a different way of thinking…. It’s fun to play with him because he is so fast. All the time he runs everywhere. I love to chase him…. Luke has a sister named Sophie and parents just like me. He has many friends also. Some kids with autism hear, see, smell and taste differently than other people. He covers his ears if someone screams. To Luke, it sounds about 10 times louder. He cannot communicate that well, so he does it through an iPad. He has a schedule too. Luke understands some things differently. That’s my buddy Luke.”