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Calls to Action

Long Island Walk Raises Over $1.2 Million

LI Raises the Bar with the Largest Single Day Autism Walk Event in History
April 23, 2007

To the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), Long Island looks like a million bucks...again!

In 2003, the Long Island Walk F.A.R. for NAAR autism research walk was the country's first single-day autism walk event to raise $1 million. NAAR is proud to announce that Sunday, October 24, 2004, on their 5th year anniversary, Long Island did it again! By nightfall on Sunday, Long Island had

over $1.2 million with much more to come. Building on the great success of their 2003 walk, over 11,000 people came out this year to a new NAAR venue, Jones Beach State Park, to show their support for autism and take part in the fun and festivities the Long Island Walk Committee had planned. To date, the Long Island Walk F.A.R. for NAAR is NAAR's largest single-day event, in terms of attendance and dollars raised.

Many thanks go out to the entire Long Island Walk Committee including 2004 Walk Chair Michael Giangregorio and Co-chair Allyson Schwartzman. Very special thanks go out to Corporate Chairs Dr. Bernie Rosof, Senior Vice President

of North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System, and May Lynn Andresen. At Sunday's event, NAAR was the proud recipient of a $125,000 check from TGIFriday's, presented by Jim Mazany, representing their contributions collected through the tri-state area's bartending competitions and footprints campaign.

Also held on Sunday, October 24, the Miami/Dade and Central New Jersey Walk F.A.R. for NAAR events both were extraordinary successful. With over 4,000 strong, Miami/Dade raised over $315,000. Central New Jersey walked to the tune of over $260,000 with the support of 3,000 people.

When all the donations finish rolling in, all three events from the October 24th weekend are targeted to raise $2 million for autism research.

Congratulations to Miami/Dade Co-chairs Joyce Dooley-Rodriquez and Albert Lopez, as well as Central New Jersey Chair Christine Bakter!

This past weekend's three events are complemented this Fall by 11 other Walks:

The Buffalo Walk Committee had much to be proud about raising over $65,000 for the 3rd Annual Buffalo walk on October 16th. Although the day was rainy and windy, hundreds of people gathered to support autism research. Thank you to first-year Co-chairs Peter and Sue Zummo!

Laura Kuntz, Chair of the North Central New Jersey walk, and over 110 Walk Teams led their community to victory this October to raise over $250,000. Although it was cold and damp, over 2,000 people came out for the walk, including researchers from UMDNJ to recruit participants for their research projects as part of NAAR's new Parents as Partners in Research initiative. Great Job NCNJ Walk Committee!

St. Louis is on a roll! In their second year, Co-chairs Colleen Dolnick and Jamie Spies were joined by over 8,000 walkers. The hard work of the St. Louis Walk Committee definitely paid off, raising over $500,000 for autism research. Congratulations St. Louis!

Seventy-six teams reconvened at Veteran's Park New Hampshire for the second Northern New England Walk. 1,500 walkers pulled together to put over $108,000 in the bank for NAAR! Thank you to Walk Chair Kim Drelick and her Walk Committee!

Not even hurricanes can make Southwest Florida falter! Six hundred participants joined together to raise over $60,000, making this year's Walk a huge success. Very special thanks go out to all Southwest Florida autism supporters, the entire Walk Committee, and to Co-chairs Sharon and Elizabeth Boyd for their determination and perseverance!

With the biggest Boston walk crowd ever, 8,000 people came out to Artesani Park for fun and enjoyment. Co-chairs Lisa Noke-Kearney and Marcy Wenning should be proud of their event, which raised over $800,000. Anthony Pascetta and the entire logistics crew are to be commended for another flawless Walk! Way to go Greater Boston!

Autism supporters in Colorado made their presence known for the second annual Colorado Walk F.A.R. for NAAR. 800 excited walkers from nearly 50 teams raised over $50,000 on their picture perfect walk day. Thank you to Co-chairs Matt McGarrity and Chally LaGrave, and the entire Denver Walk Committee!

Over 1,000 participants represented the Inaugural North Texas Walk at Lone Star Park. Texas pride filled the air as over $105,000 was raised for autism research. Special thanks are due to Co-Chairs Vandi Alba and Anne Russell Bramlett for a job-well done!

Even with torrential downpours at the Western New England Walk, over 1,500 autism supporters could not be stopped. This event raised over $125,000 day of walk and many more dry envelopes have been “pouring” into the New England office since. Many thanks to Co-chairs Holly Santos, Lynn Dwyer, Martie Kane, and the entire Walk Committee!

Co-chairs Sammi Robertson and Kim Karvelas reported that over 2,000 had a blast on Southern New England's Walk Day. Excited walkers came together to raise over $150,000 on a beautiful day in Providence, Rhode Island. Congratulations to the very hardworking Walk Committee for all their planning!

“These extraordinary results illustrate the outstanding leadership and dedication of our volunteers, who bring Walk F.A.R. for NAAR to life,” said Glenn R. Tringali, NAAR's chief executive officer. “Our volunteers are among the most passionate and amazing people in the world. They are playing the lead role in our quest to accelerate the pace of research and find answers to this devastating disorder.”

And, NAAR is proud to announce that there is still ONE more Fall walk remaining on the calendar – Palm Beach will hold their event on Sunday, November 7 at the Office Depot Corporate campus in Delray Beach, FL.

It was the work of all 13 walk events that made the 2004 Fall Walk F.A.R. for NAAR Campaign record-breaking success. NAAR would like to send a big THANK YOU to each and every one of the 37,500+ walkers that made it possible to raise nearly $4.5 million for autism research!

Established in 1994, the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) is the first non-profit organization in the country dedicated to funding and accelerating biomedical research for autism spectrum disorders. The organization was established by parents of children with autism concerned about the limited amount of funding for autism research. To date, NAAR has committed nearly $30 million in grants for biomedical research projects worldwide that seek to find the causes, prevention, effective treatments and, ultimately, cure for autism spectrum disorders. Walk for Autism Research is the organization's signature fundraising and autism awareness event, which is held annually in numerous communities across the United States. Additionally, NAAR was instrumental in establishing the Autism Tissue Program, a parent-led brain tissue donation program for autism research.