GETZVILLE, NY ( WKBW ) Stephen R. Anderson, Ph.D., CEO of Summit Educational Resources, joined Duane Paddock, president of Paddock Chevrolet and honorary chair of Summit’s 2011 Walk for Autism Awareness, with Keith Radford from Channel 7's Eyewitness News to kick off the Summit Walk For Autism.
Mr. Paddock, a major donor already, added a $25,000 donation to Summit with proceeds from vehicles sold in April at his dealership.
"We are very pleased to have the continued generous support of Duane Paddock and Paddock Chevrolet for our annual Walk,” Dr. Anderson said. “Support from the local business community is essential to non-profit organizations like Summit during these challenging economic times.
We greatly appreciate all that Mr. Paddock and his family have contributed to Summit over the past three years and the greater awareness he has brought to the many challenges facing local children and their families who struggle with autism.”
More than 1,500 walkers raised awareness of autism as well as funds for Summit Academy, a school for children and young adults with developmental disabilities, at the Saturday Walk.
The event began at Summit, 150 Stahl Road in Amherst where walkers picked up their t-shirts, visited vendor tables, met the Buffalo Jills, and gathered as families and teams before heading off to the Amherst bike path behind the University at Buffalo.
Registration began at 9 a.m. and the Walk started at 10:20a.m. after some brief presentations.
One presentation included recognition of Abigail Nurse. Her brother Danny is autistic, and has benefited from the services Summit has to offer. Abby put together a fund raising campaign at Williamsville Middle that involved the entire school. The blue "Williamsville Walkers" shirts with the Channel 7 and Niagara Frontier Auto Dealers Association logos could be seen for over a mile as the walk weaved through Amherst.
The "Williamsville Walkers" joined many other teams named in honor of individuals who are autistic.
"Our Walk has a two-fold purpose,” Dr. Anderson said. “First, and most importantly, we hope to help raise awareness of autism which affects one in every 110 children. Secondly, our goal is to raise $110,000 to support programs for the 1500 children we serve each year,” he said.
Post-Walk festivities featured live entertainment, along with food, beverages, bounce houses, face painting and other activities for children.
If you would like more information on the services Summit Educational Resources has to offer, additional information is available by calling 629-3400.
"I hope my support will motivate others in our community to get involved in some way to support this wonderful organization that offers such comprehensive services to children with autism and their families,” Mr. Paddock said. “I consider myself very fortunate to have two healthy children but have friends whose children are diagnosed with autism and want to do whatever I can to help.”
Major event sponsors include M&T Bank and Tops Friendly Markets with media support annually produced by Channel 7's Mike Nurse.
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