Two Hometown Heroes Change Lives

April 27, 2012 Updated Apr 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM EDT

By WKBW News

...
April 27, 2012 Updated Apr 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM EDT

Getzville, N.Y. (WKBW) - One in eighty-eight children are born with a form of autism each year, and now the community is coming together with Summit Educational Resources to fight this disorder.

"The services that Summit provides to different levels of children and it is so important," Duane Paddock of Paddock Chevrolet said.

Summit Educational Resources is hosting their annual walk on Saturday to raise money to continue their services. Channel 7's Keith Radford is involved with the event along with Duane Paddock.

This year, Jeffrey Zimmer, owner of Reeds Jenss has also joined in the fight. Paddock and Zimmer said they hope to raise about $250,000.

"Duane Paddock was an inspiration and it helped us to jump on board," Jeffrey Zimmer said.

Paddock said it was a team effort.

"Jeff has brought so much to what we're trying to accomplish here," Paddock told Eyewitness News.

Paddock has many connections to the cause because he has a nephew suffering from autism. Zimmer's young son is also autistic.

"I think it's so important we bring awareness to the children being born with autism today and what we can do to improve their lives," Paddock said.

Paddock already has been involved with Summit for years, developing the Paddock Vocational Training Center, which helps autistic people after high school find a skill that will help them in the work place and in life. It's not only about the autistic person, themselves. Paddock said their family is also affected.

"We can talk about the kids, but I've seen how this also impacts the parents. It can be very draining, and it's nice to give them some relief," Paddock said.

This walk will take place Saturday beginning at Summit Education Resources at 150 Stahl Road Getzville. Registration begins at 9 a.m. the walk at 10 a.m. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Summit, and allows them continue improving the lives of people with autism.