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Make a Burger, Make a Friend

Event Builds Friendship Among Teens & Autistc Teens

September 08, 2013

Suncoast High School Culinary Club, BurgerFi, and Autism Speaks partnered together on Sept. 7, to create an afternoon for teens and teens on the autism spectrum to break down social barriers, foster friendships and build gourmet burgers – together.

Choosing from more than 20 gourmet toppings, members of the Suncoast High School Culinary Club worked alongside teens on the autism spectrum to create their own gourmet burgers. The group then shared their burgers together, enjoying each other’s company and learning more about the each other and autism.

Guest speaker Sam Gelfand, who is 16 and has Asperger’s, made a moving speech about the difficulties of socializing in high school for teens on the spectrum, and the importance of creating awareness about autism.

“The purpose of the event was to create compassion and a connection among teens and teens with Autism,” said Suncoast High School Culinary Club Co-Founder, Samantha Krasker.

“By breaking down social barriers and stigmas, the experience encourages teens to reach out to others who are different -- all while enjoying a universal favorite teenage pastime, eating hamburgers,” added Co-Founder Lucy Krasker, who is Samantha’s identical twin sister.

BurgerFi generously provided all the hamburgers and toppings, and is partnering with the Suncoast High School Culinary Club and Autism Speaks to host a national Make a Burger, Make a Friend event on November 9, 2013 in locations from Florida to New York.

The Suncoast Culinary Club hopes to use this event to promote acceptance and inclusion of individuals on the Autism spectrum, and to encourage kindness and extending friendship to others. It is an example of how the Club works to create culinary experiences that express people’s universal similarities and unique differences, which make the world more special.

For more information about the event or upcoming events, please visit or call (561) 252-8988.