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Thanks to generous contributions from businesses in our community, the Autism Society Northwestern Pennsylvania had a successful Walk for Autism in 2016, raising over $122,000.  Our 2016 Walk had over 2,500 participants, 64 teams, and over 100 volunteers.  We distribute over 1,800 t-shirts with our sponsors’ names which are seen throughout the local community.  We are now planning for the 16th Annual Walk for Autism to be held on Saturday April 22, 2017 at Presque Isle State Park.  We are anticipating an increase in Walkers and commemorative Walk t-shirts with our sponsors’ logos.  May we count on your company’s support?

Autism by the Numbers

  • 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 89 girls are identified with ASD
  • 2,108 individuals in Erie, Crawford, Venango, and Mercer County have been identified with ASD
  • 5,281 adults in Pennsylvania are on the autism spectrum
  • In 2020, it is estimated that 36,000 adults in Pennsylvania will be on the autism spectrum
  • Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the US
  • Autism has no known cause, but early diagnosis and intervention lead to improved outcomes

As a local organization, the Autism Society NWPA is in the trenches with our families providing support, referral, mentors, education, and most importantly a community of understanding.  Your support will allow us to continue to reach our goals and objectives outlined in our Annual Report.  New projects for 2017 include:

  • We have an ever-increasing teen population that is dealing with more pronounced challenges with their social skills. Teens become more keenly aware of who “fits in” and who “stands out.”  Autism Society NWPA successfully created Friends & Pals Teen Club in 2016.  The group provides an opportunity for friendship, social skills practice, conversation, and FUN!  Teenagers need more independent social skills once they leave school for college or the job market.  Our group provides the teens on the autism spectrum an opportunity to generalize social skills and practice in a natural, comfortable environment.  We have also introduced our Teen Club to volunteer opportunities in order to obtain experience and training toward future employment.  In January 2017, we have a partnership with Gannon University to offer “Bridge to Success.”  A job prep program for teens on autism spectrum.
  • New for 2017, we have established an Autism Society NWPA Scholarship fund through the Erie Community Foundation. The scholarships will be awarded to individuals on the autism spectrum for post-secondary education through college, universities, trade school or job training programs.  Our first scholarships will be rewarded April 2017.

We sincerely hope that you will choose to sponsor our event this year.  The deadline for your corporate sponsorship pledge is March 31, 2017.  Responding by that date provides us adequate time to have your name and/or your company’s official logo printed on our Walk for Autism t-shirts and other print media.  Will your company join the 2017 Walk Chair Family,Greg, Shanda, Kevin, and Maggie Coleman in supporting the Walk?

Your support of our fundraising efforts WILL make the difference in the life of a child or adult living “on the spectrum.”  Thank you in advance for your continued support of our efforts!